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Draft Brexit deal published

Prime Minister Theresa May agreed a controversial draft agreement on the UK's withdrawal from the European Union with her cabinet on the evening of Wednesday 14 November.

Several ministers have since resigned in protest at the terms of the draft deal, including Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, arguing that it concedes too much to the EU.

UK business bodies, however, have given the deal a tentative welcome.

Dr Adam Marshall, director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

"After two and half years of uncertainty, this may be end of the beginning - but not yet the beginning of the end. Our firms need clarity and precision on the specific terms of trade they will face in future, many of which are still to be agreed."

The chair of the Federation of Small Businesses, Mike Cherry, expressed similar sentiments:

"With 20 weeks left until exit day, many small businesses will be relieved to finally see some progress being made. An agreed draft withdrawal agreement is a significant step back from the cliff edge which would result in a chaotic no-deal Brexit that would be deeply damaging and dangerous for our small firms."

 

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