Editorial: Tough road ahead

European Union leaders have finally endorsed a hard-fought Brexit deal with Britain, but Britain Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces an uphill battle getting it through the British parliament. However, British Opposition parties and some of the own allies of the ruling party in the House of Commons were quick to warn they would not support it when it goes to a vote in a special sitting on Saturday.

If the deal is defeated, the Prime Minister is legally obliged to ask EU leaders to postpone Brexit for a third time – breaking his vow to lead Britain out on 31 October. Johnson, a leader of the leave campaign in 2016 who has vowed to walk away from the EU at the end of this month come what may, said he had secured a “great new deal that takes back control.” The draft agreement was forged after weeks of tense negotiations focused on altering arrangements to keep open the border between British Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland.

Interestingly Johnson has no majority among MPs, and his threat to leave the EU with or without a deal this month has exacerbated existing divisions in Parliament. The coming days will be crucial and all eyes will be on House of Commons. The million dollar question is whether Johnson will walk the talk.

NT Bureau