The UK and the EU have struck a revised Brexit deal after intense political wrangling between London and Brussels.
The agreement was reached 15 days before the UK is scheduled to leave the 28-member bloc on October 31.
The deal has been unanimously endorsed by EU leaders and passed to the UK parliament for ratification. Parliament is due to vote on Saturday.
UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid said the new Brexit deal will bring certainty to the UK economy but warned that Saturday’s vote in parliament will be a big hurdle.
There was a decent chance that the deal will get through parliament but the government was still prepared to leave without a deal by the October 31 deadline if necessary, he said.
Javid added that there was no need for an impact assessment, requested by an opposition MP, saying it should be obvious to MPs that the best thing for the economy is to have an orderly exit from the EU.
Opposition Labour MP Hilary Benn asked the UK government to release an impact assessment on the Brexit deal so that MPs can consider it before Saturday’s vote.
“Given the significance in particular of the revised political declaration and the Government’s previous assessment of the adverse economic impact of a free trade agreement with the EU, I think it is really important that colleagues have the fullest assessment available to them in order to inform their decision,” Benn wrote in a letter to Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was confident that the UK parliament would back the Brexit deal struck with the EU despite key allies coming out against it.
“I am very confident that when my colleagues in parliament study this agreement, they will want to vote for it on Saturday and in succeeding days,” Johnson said.
The European Union‘s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier called Brexit a “negative experience” and a “lose-lose process”.
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He told reporters that, after the UK leaves the EU, the work on a new partnership between the two will have to start.
“It’s even more important for the future that we proceed with the same respect and admiration. I think we should move ahead with the task of trying to build something together for the future.
“The UK is going to be there in the future. It’s going to be our economic partner, our friend and our ally to protect the security of our entire continent,” Barnier said.