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Britain agreed Friday to concessions to the European Union in negotiating its split from the bloc, leaders said, as Prime Minister Theresa May overcame bitter divisions at home to advance to a crucial new phase of talks.

The bargain amounted to a capitulation by May on issues dear to the European Union: preserving peace and open borders in Northern Ireland, guaranteeing rights for the 3 million E.U. citizens living in Britain, and living up to British funding commitments in Europe for years to come. 

On those issues and a host of others, Britain has been forced to fold to the European Union after saying earlier this year that it held the upper hand in the negotiations. Instead, British negotiators have found a largely united bloc that sees little need to give in to London’s demands. Friday’s agreement appears likely to unlock the next phase of the Brexit negotiation, focused on trade between the European Union and an unfettered Britain after it exits in March 2019.

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After months of deadlock, Britain and the E.U. reached an agreement on key issues, including the Irish border and rights for E.U. citizens in Britain.

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Britain and E.U. reach divorce deal to move on to new phase in Brexit …

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