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U.K., E.U. Strike New Brexit Deal, but It Faces Tough Sell in Parliament

The U.K. has reached a last-minute Brexit deal with the European Union, but faces a major challenge getting it approved by lawmakers in Parliament.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: “We’ve got a great new deal that takes back control,” and called on lawmakers to back the deal when it’s put before Parliament on Saturday.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said it was a “fair and balanced agreement” and that he would recommend that leaders of the other 27 E.U. member states approve the deal.

However, the DUP, the Northern Ireland party that Johnson relies on for support in Parliament, has refused to back the deal, which was hammered out over weeks of negotiations, because it “cannot support” a compromise on customs duties between Northern Ireland, which belongs to the U.K., and the Republic of Ireland, a member of the E.U.

“As things stand, we could not support what is being suggested on customs and consent issues, and there is a lack of clarity on VAT (value-added tax),” DUP leader Arlene Foster and deputy leader Nigel Dodds said in a statement.

The opposition Labour Party has also criticized the deal, saying in a statement that “from what we know, it seems the prime minister has negotiated an even worse deal” than the one previously negotiated by former Prime Minister Theresa May.

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The U.K. is due to leave the E.U. in two weeks’ time, on Oct. 31, and Johnson will ask MPs to vote for the new deal at a special House of Commons session on Saturday.

The British pound surged against the dollar on initial news of the deal, but has fallen back as opposition to the agreement became more pronounced during the day.

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