Boris Johnson has agreed the terms of a Brexit deal, paving the way for a historic vote in the UK parliament which could finally see the UK leave the European Union.
Negotiators in the Belgian capital worked intensively on Wednesday and Thursday to agree a revised version of the withdrawal agreement, which is set to be put before the UK parliament on Saturday.
The EU welcomed the agreement on Thursday.
“Where there is a will, there is a deal – we have one!” the European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker tweeted.
Focus will now turn to whether Johnson has enough support to pass the deal through the UK parliament, after Johnson’s governing partners rejected the agreement earlier on Thursday.
The Democratic Unionist Party, which lends the government 10 votes, said they could not support the deal as it stands.
“As things stand, we could not support what is being suggested on customs and consent issues and there is a lack of clarity on VAT,” the party’s leader and deputy, Arlene Foster and Nigel Dodds said in a statement.
“We will continue to work with the Government to try and get a sensible deal that works for Northern Ireland and protects the economic and constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom.”
The decision to push ahead with a deal, without the support of the DUP, means Johnson will struggle to secure support in parliament, despite winning over some members of his own party.
The self-styled “Spartans,” a group of 28 Brexit-supporting Conservative MPs who voted against Theresa May’s withdrawal plan three times, have indicated they are willing to back the deal.
Steve Baker, the most prominent member of the group and the chairman of the hardline European Research Group, said he was “hopeful” a deal could be struck after emerging from Downing Street on Tuesday, where he was briefed on talks.
But Johnson’s hopes of success may rest on a handful of Labour MPs in Leave-voting seats, who say they are willing to back a deal but may decide to vote against Johnson’s, as they voted against Theresa May’s.
Stephen Kinnock, the Labour MP for Averon, previously indicated he was willing to vote for a Conservative deal but on Tuesday said the prime minister should table an alternative proposal which could win cross-party backing.