The new Brexit agreement text has been making headlines lately, and for good reason. After what seemed like endless negotiations, the United Kingdom and the European Union finally agreed to a withdrawal agreement on October 17, 2019. The new agreement includes several important changes to the original deal, which was rejected by British lawmakers three times earlier this year. So, what are the key takeaways from this new text?

Firstly, the agreement includes a new protocol for Northern Ireland. Under the protocol, Northern Ireland will remain part of the UK`s customs territory, but it will also remain aligned with certain EU regulations. This means that some checks will need to be carried out on goods moving between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, but there will be no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The protocol also includes a mechanism for Northern Ireland to vote on whether to continue with the alignment after four years.

Another important change is the removal of the controversial Irish backstop. The backstop was a provision in the original agreement that would have kept the UK in a customs union with the EU if no other solution was found to prevent a hard border in Ireland. It was heavily criticised by Brexiteers, who argued that it would trap the UK in the EU`s regulatory orbit indefinitely. The removal of the backstop was a key demand of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who hailed it as a major victory.

The new agreement also includes a financial settlement, which will see the UK pay around £33 billion to the EU. This covers outstanding financial obligations that the UK agreed to before it decided to leave the bloc. The UK will also honour its commitments to EU citizens living in the UK and UK citizens living in the EU. This means that citizens` rights will be protected even after Brexit.

Overall, the new Brexit agreement text represents a major breakthrough in the Brexit process. It has been praised by both the UK and the EU, and it has received a cautious welcome from business leaders and other stakeholders. However, there are still several hurdles to be overcome before the agreement can be finalised. The UK Parliament needs to approve the agreement, and this is likely to be a difficult process given the deeply divided nature of British politics. There are also concerns that the agreement could face legal challenges from various groups who are unhappy with its content.

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