Prime Minister Theresa May has struck a last minute deal with the EU to move Brexit talks on to the next phase.
There will be no “hard border” in Ireland and EU citizens in the UK, and UK citizens in the EU, will see their rights protected.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said “the breakthrough we needed” had been achieved, after months of negotiations.
If EU leaders agree, talks on UK-EU trade after Brexit can go ahead.
They are due to meet next Thursday for a European Council summit and need to give their backing to the deal, but Mr Juncker said he was “confident” they would do so.
The UK will then have about a year to hammer out an agreement on future relations, which will have to be ratified by the EU nations and the UK Parliament, before the UK leaves in March 2019.
Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, whose opposition on Monday led to talks breaking down, said there was still “more work to be done” on the border issue and how it votes on the final deal “will depend on its contents”. Mrs May depends on the party’s support to win key votes in Westminster.