In Brief

EU leaders endorse Brexit deal at historic summit

Theresa May now faces uphill battle to get her deal approved by parliament next month

After nearly two years of tense negotiations, EU leaders finally signed off a Brexit deal at yesterday’s summit in Brussels.

The withdrawal agreement and outline of Britain’s future relations with the bloc, which still requires parliamentary approval, was accepted without any objections on Sunday morning.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker described it as a “sad day,” adding that no-one should be “raising champagne glasses” to the impending divorce.

In a warning to British MPs planning to vote against agreement, he said this was the only deal on the table.

“Those who think that, by rejecting the deal, they would get a better deal, will be disappointed,” he told reporters.

Speaking after the meeting, Prime Minister Theresa May urged the British public to get behind the agreement.

Despite “the increasingly bleak prospects” for her deal passing the House of Commons next month, May struck a defiant note, The Guardian reports.

Although she admitted that the agreement included compromises on both sides, the prime minister said it “delivered for the British people” and set the UK “on course for a prosperous future”.

However, there is near-unanimous consensus in Westminster that the prime minister’s withdrawal agreement will be defeated when it comes before MPs on 12 December.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the parliamentary arithmetic was “looking challenging” and warned “nothing could be ruled out” if May lost the vote, including the government collapsing, the BBC says.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn vowed that his party would oppose the deal, which he said left Britain in “the worst of all worlds” and gives the country “less say” over its future.  

For May, “it's now the beginning of a very planned, very scripted operation as she attempts to sell the deal to MPs and the general public,” says the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg.

“Whilst at the moment it appears the deal would not get through parliament, everything could change as time goes on and the debate continues,” she adds.

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