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Summary

  1. The European Union has endorsed the Brexit deal after 18 months of negotiations
  2. 'This is the best deal possible, this is the only deal possible,' says European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker
  3. Theresa May says it allows the country to 'move forward together into a brighter future'
  4. But the UK Parliament must also approve the deal - MPs are expected to vote in December
  5. A number of MPs from all sides have criticised the agreement
  6. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt says the parliamentary arithmetic is 'challenging'

Live Reporting

By Laurence Peter and Robbie Hawkins

All times stated are UK

  1. Today in summary

    A European Union summit in Brussels has backed the Brexit deal reached between the UK and EU.

    It took leaders just 40 minutes to endorse nearly 600 pages of legal text and a 20-page roadmap for the EU's future relationship with Britain.

    Calling it a sad day, the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, said that it was the "best" and "only deal possible". He warned that if British MPs thought they could get a better one next month by voting against the current offer, they would be disappointed.

    Prime Minister Theresa May said the deal "delivered for the British people" and set the UK "on course for a prosperous future", urging both Leave and Remain voters to get behind the agreement.

    Focus now returns to Westminster, with the deal expected to be put to MPs in the House of Commons before Christmas. Approval is far from guaranteed, with Labour, the Lib Dems, the SNP, the DUP and many Conservatives MPs all set to vote against it.

    Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt warned "nothing could be ruled out" if Mrs May loses the vote - including the government collapsing.

    BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg said however the PM really feels about this deal, her strategy for the next couple of weeks is crystal clear. Her case? This is all there is. Read more from Laura here.

  2. Deal 'guarantees rights of Poles in UK'

    Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki tweeted (in Polish) that the Brexit deal "guarantees the rights of Poles in the UK, the interest of Polish companies and the EU budget”.

    He said Poland and the UK "will remain close allies".

    There are an estimated one million Polish nationals resident in the UK, the Office for National Statistics says. You can read its 2017 report on non-UK born residents here.

    Poles form the largest group of UK residents born outside the UK.

  3. What's the SNP's Brexit policy?

    Reality Check

    Nicola Sturgeon and Michel Barnier

    "Go back and negotiate, let's keep us in the single market and customs union."

    That was the message from the SNP's leader at Westminster, Ian Blackford, to Theresa May at Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday.

    Mrs May responded by saying such a Brexit outcome would "frustrate the vote of the British people".

    But what is the SNP's Brexit policy and what would it mean?

    Read the full BBC Reality Check piece here.

  4. What has the EU decided?

    The EU leaders have approved the two key Brexit documents:

    • The EU withdrawal agreement: a 599-page, legally binding document setting out the terms of the UK's exit from the EU. It covers the UK's £39bn "divorce bill", citizens' rights and the Northern Ireland "backstop" - a way to keep the Irish border open, if trade talks stall
    • The political declaration, which sets out what the UK and EU's relationship may be like after Brexit - outlining how things like UK-EU trade and security will work

    There was no formal vote on Sunday, with the EU proceeding by consensus.

  5. Business leader urges MPs to back agreement

    There's more relief among businesses about today's agreement - and a warning to MPs.

    The head of the EEF manufacturing group, Stephen Phipson, said the uncertainty had hit firms "particularly hard", with investment delayed, jobs lost and growth hit.

    "Today’s agreement finally provides a clear pathway to a stable and sensible transition from full membership of the EU and avoids the horrific consequences of leaving without a deal," he said.

    Which is why, he added, MPs should take note as the vote in Parliament approaches.

    "I would strongly advise all MPs to look closely at this deal, the consequences of the alternative and make a pragmatic decision that provides our economy and business with the clarity and certainty we need," he said.

  6. Lukewarm German welcome for deal

    Politicians in Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrat (CDU) party welcomed today's deal with the UK, while criticising Brexit itself.

    Quoted by Sueddeutsche Zeitung (in German), CDU parliamentary deputy leader Katja Leikert said it was "the best possible result under very difficult circumstances".

    "There could be no perfect solution for Brexit, which is a fundamentally wrong decision, in our opinion."

    A leading CDU MEP, David McAllister, called Brexit "an historic mistake with heavy consequences for the UK".

    Social Democrat (SPD) politician Christian Petry said the Brexit deal "enables an orderly withdrawal" for the UK.

    But the Greens' Europe spokeswoman Franziska Brantner called the deal "far too weak" on the environment and social welfare. She warned there was a risk of the UK undermining EU standards in those areas.

  7. Toyota urges EU and UK to agree a frictionless deal

    Toyota's Burnaston car plant

    Toyota, which has a huge car plant near Derby, said it was now important for the UK and EU to press on and secure free and frictionless trade deal.

    The Japanese giant, which warned about the uncertainty around Brexit, said the agreement should "avoid the significant production disruption a ‘No Deal’ outcome would have for ‘Just in Time’ supply chains in the automotive industry".

    A Toyota statement added: “We appreciate that these have been challenging negotiations."

  8. Watch: Juncker position fixed on Brexit deal

    Video content

    Video caption: Brexit: 'I'm never changing my mind' says Juncker
  9. Brexit deal approved 'in seconds'

    Adam Fleming

    Brussels reporter

    No member states raised objections to the Brexit withdrawal deal and it was approved in a matter of seconds, a senior EU official told BBC Brussels reporter Adam Fleming.

    Around seven leaders spoke in the session of the EU27, mostly to say that it was a sad day and that they wanted the future relationship with the UK to be as close as possible.

    After Theresa May’s address, roughly half of the leaders spoke. Several wished her good luck with the "meaningful" vote yet to come in Parliament.

    The senior official wouldn’t confirm or deny whether Mrs May had conceded privately that she didn’t have a majority for her deal in Parliament, but said no "what ifs" were discussed.

    The EU’s only Plan B was its existing contingency planning, the official said.

  10. Juncker: 'The only deal possible'

    Jean-Claude Juncker

    President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker insists that the deal reached between the UK and EU "is the deal".

    "I'm never changing my mind", he told BBC Europe Editor Katya Adler. "This is the best deal possible, this is the only deal possible."

    As a result, if MPs were to reject the deal when it is put to the House of Commons, "we would have no deal".

    Brexit was not the result of a failure by the EU, he added, "it's the responsibility of Britain".

    "You are telling people year after year, month after month, day after day, that the membership of the European Union is a bad thing for British citizens, so I don't think the European Union is guilty for the result."

  11. Labour to Scotland secretary: Will you resign?

    David Mundell

    Shadow Scotland secretary Lesley Laird has written to David Mundell, calling on him to clarify his position on the withdrawal deal.

    The deal, she says, "is a clear breach of your red line on fishing", with some concerned there is insufficient clarity that the UK will not remain part of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) after Brexit.

    Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell previously threatened to quit Theresa May's Cabinet if UK participation in the CFP continued beyond 2020.

    "I would be therefore be grateful if you were able to clarify that you will not be voting for the deal on this basis," Ms Laird wrote.

    "If that is the case, I really must ask why you have not resigned your position in the Cabinet?"

  12. Brexit 'a disaster' - Dutch finance minister

    Dutch Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra cautiously has welcomed the Brexit deal, but said "Brexit itself is a disaster".

    Speaking on the Dutch TV news programme Buitenhof, he said the UK exit was bad news for Europe, "but in the end it will also turn out to be bad for the UK itself".

    Brexit "will have an impact on the Netherlands", he said, as the UK is an important trade partner for the Dutch.

    You can listen to the minister's comments here (in Dutch).

  13. 'Effectively nil' chance of deal being approved by MPs says Lloyd

    The chance of Theresa May’s deal getting through parliament is “effectively nil,” the Shadow Secretary State for Northern Ireland says.

    Tony Lloyd outlined Labour’s opposition to the agreement the government has reached with the rest of the EU: “It doesn’t provide long term friction-less trade, it doesn’t guarantee the employment rights for people in the workplace or the environmental standards, it doesn’t keep us in international agencies.”

    Mr Lloyd said: “What she’s created is something that satisfies very few people, so the chances of getting this deal through parliament I think is effectively nil.”

    Asked about the potential of a no-deal Brexit, Lloyd said “parliament simply would not allow” this outcome.

  14. 'Not a happy compromise'

    Laura Kuenssberg

    BBC political editor

    It's "the only deal", Theresa May says.

    But the BBC's political editor says there is strong opposition to it among UK politicians.

    Read her analysis in full here.

    Quote Message: However the prime minister looks, however she sounds in the next fortnight, the levels of unhappiness at home are so profound that her pleas may fall on deaf ears."
  15. EU in show of unity over Brexit

    Katya Adler

    Europe Editor

    Our Europe Editor says Brexit is also about "convincing other EU countries and the world that the EU remains strong and unified".

    Quote Message: They won’t break ranks with EU member Ireland over a deal with the UK or risk the EU’s reputation as a tough negotiator by now breaking key red lines."
  16. UK Finance: Avoiding no-deal Brexit vital

    UK Finance, a trade body representing banks and financial services in the UK, sees the Brexit deal agreed in Brussels as a key step to avoid a "devastating" no deal.

    View more on twitter
  17. What is the Common Fisheries Policy?

    All 13 Scottish Conservative MPs - including Scottish Secretary David Mundell - threatened mutiny earlier this month unless the Brexit deal ensured the UK left the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

    The CFP is the shared fisheries policy of the European Union, which sets quotas for the amount of fish countries are allowed to catch, as well as controlling what kind of fish are caught and where.

    The policy is deeply unpopular with fishing crews across the UK.

    Read more here about the impact of Brexit on the UK's fisheries.

  18. Scottish Tory: Future fisheries agreement 'deeply troubling'

    Fishing boats

    Scottish Conservative MP Ross Thomson has called the EU position on a future fisheries agreement with the UK "deeply troubling".

    Mr Thomson, who says he intends to vote against Theresa May's deal, says the EU have made clear in a document published today that they want to maintain the unpopular Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

    "The current arrangement is very good for the EU, the arrangement we have on fisheries has been devastating for fishing communities across Scotland and the UK", he says.

    "It's in the interests of the EU to keep it going...It may not be called that, but if it looks like the CFP and behaves like the CFP then it is the CFP, and that's why we need to resist it as we go into these negotiations."

    The prime minister has repeatedly stated that the deal will put the UK in "full sovereign control of our waters", with fishing not "tied to any other aspect of our economic partnership".

    But Mr Thomson says the situation is "ambiguous".