British Prime Minister Theresa May has won the Cabinet’s backing for a draft divorce deal with the European Union after a “long, detailed and impassioned” marathon meeting Wednesday, the Associated Press reports.
The breakthrough came as pro-Brexit lawmakers raged against a draft agreement they said would make the U.K. subservient to the bloc indefinitely.
May’s Cabinet debated whether to support the deal after negotiators from Britain and the European Union broke a months-long logjam and reached agreement on divorce terms.
Speaking to the press outside of Number 10, Theresa May said: “The Cabinet has just had a long, detailed, and impassionate debate on the draft withdrawal agreement and the outlined political declaration on our future relationship with the European Union.
“These documents were the result of thousands of hours of hard negotiations by UK officials and many, many meetings which I and ministers held with our EU counterparts. I firmly believe that the draft withdrawal agreement was the best that could be negotiated," she said.
"This is a decisive step which enables us to move on and finalise the deal in the days ahead. These decisions were not taken lightly but I believe it is a decision in the national interest," May stated.
Guy Verhofstadt (ALDE, BE), the European Parliament’s Brexit Coordinator welcomed the "positive progress made in the negotiations."
"It is encouraging to see that we are moving towards a fair deal that should ensure an orderly withdrawal," he said.
"It is now up to elected Parliamentarians on both sides of the Channel to do their work and scrutinise the proposed deal, including the political declaration and the framework for future relationship," Verhofstadt added.
1/2 Statement by @guyverhofstadt on behalf of #Brexit steering group: “It is encouraging to see that we are moving towards a fair deal that should ensure an orderly withdrawal, including a backstop guaranteeing that there will be no hardening of the Northern Irish/Irish border” pic.twitter.com/995qkxFkjd— European Parliament (@Europarl_EN) November 14, 2018