James Brokenshire says British government is committed to Brexit joint agreement

James Brokenshire said the UK government wanted last Friday's joint commitments reflected in the final withdrawal agreement. Picture by Mal McCann

THE UK is committed to following through on its Brexit commitments, Secretary of State James Brokenshire has said.

The Tory MP said the British government wanted to secure a withdrawal agreement with legal effect.

He added that clear assurances were set out in Friday's joint deal.

"Yes of course this is caveated on the basis of nothing is agreed until everything is agreed but actually, the joint commitments, we want them reflected into the withdrawal agreement, we want to secure the agreement that gives the legal effect to all of this," he said.

Mr Brokenshire claimed the deal should give "renewed impetus" to efforts to restore power-sharing.

Sinn Féin Brexit spokesman David Cullinane said the "heavy lifting" in the negotiations between the UK and EU had yet to come.

"Friday's report is simply where the negotiations stand at the moment – it is not a 'cast-iron guarantee' as stated by the taoiseach but simply a set of measures that both sides have agreed to at this stage in the talks in order to move the process forward," he said.

SDLP finance spokeswoman Claire Hanna said the north's politicians needed to protect the economy.

"The advent of protectionist economic policies in the US, the uncertainty posed by London's handling of the Brexit negotiations and the failure to form a power-sharing executive in Belfast have made this a challenging year," she said.

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