British Prime Minister Theresa May
(Image credit: Philippe Lopez/Getty Images)

European Union leaders on Sunday supported British Prime Minister Theresa May's proposal for the United Kingdom's exit from the EU next year. The 585-page document must now be approved by the U.K. Parliament in a vote expected to be held Dec. 11.

A difficult vote is anticipated, as May faces resistance both from those who oppose Brexit and from Brexit supporters who believe her plan concedes too much to the EU. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned the latter group they are unwise to try to hold out for a better arrangement, arguing Sunday this deal is the best realistic option.

May's proposal does not determine future U.K.-EU relations, focusing on the departure instead. It covers the $39 billion exit payment to be made by the United Kingdom alongside provisions for citizens' rights and European trade with Ireland should relations deteriorate.

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This "will be a deal that is in our national interest — one that works for our whole country and all of our people, whether you voted 'Leave' or 'Remain,'" May wrote in an open letter to the British public on the subject Sunday. "We will then begin a new chapter in our national life. I want that to be a moment of renewal and reconciliation for our whole country."

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