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Next 72 hours crucial in Brexit talks as UK PM says deal within grasp

(Xinhua)    07:20, November 23, 2018

LONDON, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- The next 72 hours are crucial in Brexit negotiations between Britain and the European Union (EU), Prime Minister Theresa May told the House of Commons Thursday.

May updated politicians on talks she has held in Brussels on the withdrawal agreement and a political statement outlining the new working arrangements for Britain's departure from EU membership.

The UK-EU deal will create a free trade area with the EU unlike any other, May told politicians, adding the next 72 hours are crucial.

She said that Britain would be able to negotiate new trade deals around the world, ready to introduce them when an implementation period with the EU ended.

May also added that the sovereignty of British-territory Gibraltar would be protected. Specific proposals are also included over the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland to ensure a future so-called backstop arrangement is not needed by either Britain or the EU.

The prime minister told MPs the future relationship document is a good deal for Britain, ending free movement once and for all and introducing skills-based immigration. She said the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in Britain will end, and future decisions will be made in Westminster, Edinburgh, Cardiff and London.

She concluded: "The British people want Brexit to be settled. They want politicians to move on, and focus on other issues like the National Health Service. A deal is now in grasp."

May came under attack from the main opposition leader, Labour's Jeremy Corbyn, who said nothing has changed, describing the political statement as "waffle".

The documents are now being studied by the 27 member states of the EU ahead of a meeting on Sunday when the aim is to approve the proposals.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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