Boris Johnson has done what many of his critics suspected he was not even attempting to do – he has negotiated a Brexit deal with the European Union. Patrick Daly looks at the hurdles he still has to overcome.

THE Prime Minister says the deal he has brokered means that “the UK can come out of the EU as one United Kingdom – England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, together”, while European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker says the deal is a “fair and balanced agreement for the EU and the UK and it is testament to our commitment to find solutions”.

Under the terms of the deal, Northern Ireland will remain aligned with single market regulations on goods. The UK will leave the EU customs union – an agreement by which members abolish import tariffs and quotas on goods traded among them and observe common external duties on goods coming in – as will Northern Ireland.

The region will remain an entry point into the EU’s customs zone. UK authorities will apply UK tariffs to products entering Northern Ireland as long as they are not destined for onward transportation across the border. EU rules on value-added tax and excise duties will apply in Northern Ireland, with the UK responsible for their collection. However, revenues derived will be retained by the UK.

Having a deal signed off by the European Commission was only the first step, however, in ensuring Britain leaves before the October 31 deadline as per his “do or die” pledge. Here are the steps Mr Johnson will now need to take.

Secure Parliament’s backing

Downing Street has confirmed that Mr Johnson will put his deal to a meaningful vote – as required for Brexit to happen – on Saturday.

This looks be the hardest of tasks – the Conservative Party leader needs to secure a majority for his exit terms, despite leading a minority administration where Opposition MPs outnumber those on the Government benches.

He has also damaged his relationship with the DUP after appearing to ride roughshod over their concerns about the customs arrangement proposed for Northern Ireland in his deal, along with dissatisfaction over the consent mechanism for Stormont and the process for VAT.

The DUP has confirmed they were “unable to support” the proposals in Parliament.

It makes the numbers even tighter for the PM seeing as members of the European Research Group (ERG), a hardline band of Tory Eurosceptics, have said they would struggle to vote for a deal that does not have the DUP’s approval.

The Prime Minister needs at least 318 votes for a majority. If every Conservative MP who is able to vote backs the deal, it gives the Government 285 votes.

Mr Johnson has refused to say whether he would restore the whip to the 21 Tories he exiled for previously voting against his will.

Fend off second referendum bids

Opposition MPs have been talking about a “super Saturday” where the Commons votes on both the PM’s Brexit deal and also whether to subject it to a second referendum.

Former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable called on MPs to back the deal and approve a confirmatory vote. “We should now allow the deal to be passed by Parliament subject to a confirmatory referendum with the option to Remain,” he said.

Mr Johnson will have to fight off such amendments that would be supported by the Lib Dems, SNP and Greens.

Jeremy Corbyn, speaking in Brussels, would not speculate on whether Labour could support such a bid, saying: “It won’t come up on Saturday I suspect.”

Pass all Brexit legislation

Should the PM prove successful in his meaningful vote, all attention will turn to passing the necessary legislation to make Britain’s EU withdrawal legally enforceable.

He would need to find a further majority for the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill in order to put Brexit on the statute books. The transition period, lasting until to December 2020, will keep many of the current arrangements with the same, giving the Government further time to push through legislation on matters such as fishing, trade and immigration which relate to the EU divorce.

Asked whether the Government was confident of passing the required legislation before October 31 should a deal prove successful in the Commons, the Prime Minister’s spokeswoman told journalists on Thursday: “We have said a number of times the public would expect, if a deal is passed, for MPs to do everything they can to pass it on time and yes, we are confident that we can do that.”