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Brexit deal: Theresa May’s agreement with Brussels

December 8, 2017
Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker at press conferenceImage copyrightEPA

The UK and European Commission have reached an agreement that should allow them to move Brexit talks on to the next stage.

Here are some of the key lines in the agreement document.

So here’s the first linguistic somersault. This agreement is designed to lock in the progress made so far, and allow technical experts to continue to work on it during the second phase of talks.

But EU negotiations always work on the principle that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, and that raises the prospect that if the second phase runs into trouble, then what has been agreed so far could, in theory, unravel.

That is certainly not the intention on either side, but it underscores that the negotiating process still has a very long way to run – and the hardest part is still to come.