The UK and the EU have struck a deal paving the way for Brexit talks to move forward to the next level on trade and future relations when Britain exits the group next year.
British Prime Minister Theresa May appeared alongside European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels to break the news that enough progress has been made on key issues to advance the talks to the next level.
One the three contentious issue was the Irish border. May said there would be no hard border. EU citizens in the UK “will be able to go on living as before”.
May said the Brexit deal was a “significant improvement” which had required give and take on both sides.
The breakthrough on border came after overnight talks between May and Arlene Foster of Democratic Unionist Party which had blocked the talks at the eleventh hour last week.
Foster said major changes to the text which was rejected on Monday would mean there was “no red line down the Irish Sea” in the form of a customs barrier between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.
In the wake of the latest development, the European Commission will recommend to the European Council that talks advance. That will happen at a summit of EU leaders next week in Brussels.