To quote President Juncker this morning:
Where there is a will, there is a #deal — we have one! It’s a fair and balanced agreement for the EU and the UK and it is testament to our commitment to find solutions. I recommend that #EUCO endorses this deal.
And so say all of us, but let us not get carried away. There is a long way to go yet. This is only avoiding a drop-off Brexit. It will be a difficult process for our island. I commend the Tánaiste, all the Government officials, Members and everybody else who got us to this stage. There has been a massive political and personal effort by many and on the part of all our negotiating teams. We have been here before and we are once again in the hands of Westminster.
Can the Tánaiste outline his most up-to-date understanding of the position? We are all still digesting the deal. There is a commitment that there will not be any border or customs checks on the island. Can the Tánaiste confirm that? Can he confirm that the Single Market retains its integrity? Can he assure the House that the Good Friday Agreement is intact in the deal? These are the three key questions.
Has the Government, either through the Tánaiste, the Taoiseach or the relevant officials, engaged with the DUP in recent days about its concerns regarding the deal? Does the Tánaiste have any plans at political or official level to engage with it to see if the Government can assuage its concerns, whatever they may be, about this deal? What is the Tanaiste’s view on the implications of the Benn Act which demands a very solid update for Westminster by 19 October, 48 hours from now? What does he see as the likely timeline of the deal getting through Westminster and will it result in Britain exiting the EU on 31 October?