Sufficient progress has been made in the Brexit negotiations for talks to move onto Britains future outside the EU.
Although there are still some questions remaining over the issues discussed so far, both UK and EU delegates have accepted a joint proposal to move talks on.
The president of the European council, Donald Tusk, tweeted: “EU leaders agree to move on to the second phase of #Brexit talks. Congratulations PM @theresa_may.”
The first item on the agenda for phase two talks is the 'transitional period' which is likely to last two years where the UK will continue to abide by EU law but not have a seat at the EU's table.
Mrs. May tweeted “Thank you to Presidents @JunckerEU and @donaldtusk. Today is an important step on the road to delivering a smooth and orderly Brexit and forging our deep and special future partnership.”
She will have three months for the cabinet to agree to a future trade deal. This looks set to be a challenge as this week has already seen a Tory rebellion against the whip on a Brexit vote.
Negotiations so far have taken nine months, during which time the rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU have been secured, a figure agreed for the 'divorce bill' and a strategy achieved to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland
Brexit Secretary David Davis tweeted “Today is a good day for Brexit and an important step for Britain. Thanks to hard work and determination, we have reached an important milestone and have achieved #sufficientprogress. There is still lots of work to come but we are ready for the next stage.”
During a press conference today, Donal Tusk has warned that the second stage of negotiations will be 'more challenging' than the first. Jean Claude Junker said that the draft withdrawal bill will be drawn up over the next couple of weeks, and talks will resume in March.
Mrs. May insists that talks resume immediately.
Source: BBC/ Guardian twitter