At an upbeat and conciliatory press conference at the EU Commission’s headquarters this morning the pair said that both sides had made compromises in order to clinch an agreement.
The PM and Mr Juncker looked relaxed and in good spirits as they briefed the press and said the pact would guarantee security for businesses and citizens on both sides of the Channel.
Negotiators have now published the full text of the agreement, which Mrs May said her DUP partners had agreed to back after “significant improvements” were made.
The new text was cobbled together following a series of frantic phone calls between the prime minister, the Commission chief and Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar throughout this week.
Mr Juncker said: “Prime Minister May has assured me that it has the backing of the UK Government. The Commission has just formally decided to recommend to the European Council that sufficient progress has been made on the terms of the divorce.
“Today’s result is of course a compromise. As in any negotiation both sides had to listen to each other adjust their position and show a willingness to compromise. It is a result of a long and tense discussion between the Commission negotiators and those of the UK.
“I am hopeful, confident, sure that the member states will share our appraisal and allow us to move to the next phase of the negotiations.”
On Brexit, he added: “I will always be sad about this development but now we must start looking for the future, the future in which the UK will be and will remain a close friend and ally.
“The Prime Minister and I discussed the need for a transition period and we dedicated much of our meeting to the joint vision for a deep and close partnership.
“It’s crucial for us all that we keep working closely together. We will take things one step at a time…but today I’m hopeful that we are all now moving towards the second phase of these challenging negotiations and we can do this jointly on the basis of renewed trust, determination and with the perspective of a renewed friendship.”
Mrs May told reporters the new text represents a “significant improvement” on the draft rejected by the DUP on Monday. She said the agreement had required “significant give and take” and was “in the best interests of the whole of the UK”.
She said: “This was a question of coming together and working together for agreements that were in the best interests of either side. I hope and expect we will be able to get the endorsement of the 27 to what is a hard won agreement in all of our interests.
“I believe it’s a matter of trust and integrity in politicians for people to be able to trust that their politicians will put into place what they have determined and that’s exactly what we’re doing and we will be leaving the European Union.”
More to follow.