Britain and the European Union have managed to resolve their disputes on the so-called Irish border issue and agree on a final deal for divorce, according to media reports.
The RTE, which is the official broadcasting service in Ireland, said Tuesday that British and EU negotiators had reached a Brexit deal after agreeing on how to avoid a return of border checks between EU state of Ireland and the British province of Northern Ireland once Britain leaves the EU in March.
The RTE correspondent Toney Connely said the two sides had managed to “stabilize” the text of the Brexit agreement late on Monday after long hours of negotiations. He added that the text was then sent to the British government.
BREAKING: EU and UK negotiators have agreed a text on how to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland, which will form part of the Withdrawal Agreement, @rtenews understands— Tony Connelly (@tconnellyRTE) November 13, 2018
There has been a huge uncertainty on whether Britain and the EU could reach a binding agreement that could outline their post-Brexit relations. A main sticking point in the talks was the Irish border issue as Britain had refused to agree that Northern Ireland be included in EU’s customs union after Brexit and until the two sides find a permanent mechanism for trade.
Sources close to the British government said Monday that Britain had given up on the idea that a Brexit deal could be finalized this week so that the EU could call an extraordinary summit of leaders to endorse the agreement later this month.
Government sources said Tuesday, however, that despite massive progress in talks with EU negotiators, there was not yet any text ready to be put in front of senior ministers for approval.
British Prime Ministers Theresa May had hoped that she could convene a key meeting of her cabinet on Tuesday to discuss the Brexit deal and then go with it through the parliament on Wednesday.