British PM and EU Strike New Brexit Deal — Now It’s Up to Parliament Vote

A potentially viable Brexit deal gave the British pound a boost on Thursday, with the currency now trading at around $1.29, compared with $1.28 earlier in the day.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a tweet that his new deal, agreed with the European Union earlier today, was “great” and means the U.K. will be able to “take back control” of its laws and its international trading agreements.

Both Johnson and Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, urged the British Parliament and the European Union alike to back the deal, which is supposed to have solved the controversial, temporary Irish backstop agreement, which will regulate movement of goods between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland until a final trade deal between the U.K. and the EU is agreed.

British MPs will vote on Johnson’s proposal on Saturday during an extraordinary session of Parliament. Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, which is supposed to be supporting the Conservative government, has already said it will not back Johnson’s latest proposal during Saturday’s vote.

Predictably, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is arguing that Johnson’s proposal is worse than former Prime Minister Theresa May’s failed Brexit solutions. The Labour party is split and still squabbling about its stand on Brexit.

It is now up to British members of Parliament to decide how — or if — they want Britain to exit the EU. Britain’s parliamentarians agree on very little these days, but last month they passed a law saying that leaving the EU with no deal is unacceptable and that an extension to the Brexit deadline would be necessary if Johnson’s deal is rejected.

Britain is due to leave the EU on Oct. 31, although if Johnson cannot get this latest deal passed on Saturday, he will be obliged to ask the EU for another extension. He is already lobbying EU leaders to reject that request.

If parliamentarians do not agree to the deal on Saturday, it is likely that Britain will hold an early general election, with Johnson and his Conservative party looking to gain a parliamentary majority that will make any future votes on Brexit easier to pass.

Despite Thursday’s uptick, the British pound is still trading at historic lows compared with its pre-referendum high of $1.48 and post-referendum drop to $1.30.

This story was reported by WWD and originally appeared on WWD.com.

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