- EU leaders are meeting to sign off two key documents
- The withdrawal agreement sets out the terms of the UK’s exit from the EU
- The political declaration sets out what the UK-EU relationship may be like after Brexit
- European Council President Donald Tusk recommends they are approved
- Spain has dropped threat to derail the Brexit deal over Gibraltar
- There is no formal vote but the EU expects to proceed after reaching a consensus
The 27 EU leaders are set to sign off Theresa May’s Brexit deal in Brussels today.
But back at home, the PM will still face the huge hurdle of getting MPs to approve her EU withdrawal agreement and accompanying political declaration.
BBC political correspondent Ben Wright looks at what will happen if MPS reject Mrs May’s deal.Copyright: PA
Irish Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Leo Varadkar said “tariff-free, quota-free trade between Britain and Ireland is very important”.
He also said it was important that the deal would keep the Common Travel Area after Brexit, which enables passport-free travel between the UK and Ireland.Copyright: PA
Arriving in Brussels, President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani says he “wants to be optimistic” about the chances of the deal going through both the UK and EU parliaments.
It is a good deal for both sides, he says, and the focus is now on working hard for good relations in future.
“The United Kingdom will leave the European Union but not Europe, it’s important we have a good a relationship.”
The European Parliament will vote on a Brexit resolution in December and expects to vote on the agreement in January or February, he says.
EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier says “now is the time for everybody to take their responsibility”.
He says his Brexit team “worked with the UK, never against the UK”.
“We’ll remain allies, partners and friends,” he said, going into the Brexit summit.Copyright: EPA
First in is Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite.
Speaking to waiting media, she said: “We are going to agree on the withdrawal agreement.”
She added: “But there’s nothing good for any side, because it is withdrawal from the European Union.”
Ms Grybauskaite said the EU27 wanted to see “everything settled as soon as possible”.
“I think it’s not our concern. It’s the British concern.”Copyright: BBC
Ahead of the meeting, Prime Minister Theresa May has tweeted a letter to the nation, urging UK citizens to “come together again as one people”.
Brexit will be “a moment of renewal and reconciliation for our whole country”, she writes.
EU leaders will have to consider two key documents: the EU withdrawal agreement – which is legally binding – and a separate political declaration, outlining the UK’s future relationship with the EU.
There is no formal vote today, but European Council chief Donald Tusk has recommended all countries approve the prime minister’s deal.
After months of negotiations and political wrangling, need a little reminder of what it’s actually all about again?
Welcome to our live coverage of the special Brexit summit of the European Council in Brussels.
Theresa May is meeting with the 27 EU leaders who are expected to sign off on her Brexit deal – the terms of the UK’s exit from the EU.
We will be bringing you the latest updates as officials start to arrive at the summit from 07:30 GMT.