No breakthrough but new Brexit headache for Theresa May — EU summit

Lester Mason
October 19, 2018

The comments come as London is nearing a March 2019 deadline to leave the EU.

Calming voice: EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier says work continues.

"But the point is this is not expected to be used because we are working to ensure that we have that future relationship in place by the end of December 2020".

"I think "soft Brexit" seems to be unfortunately out of the question", Stubb said of the possibility that the U.K.might maintain close economic ties to the EU.

Mrs May stressed this would only be for "a matter of months" and is devised to help break the deadlock over agreeing a backstop solution for the Irish border issue.

The letter signed by former British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, ex-Brexit Secretary David Davis and other pro-Brexit Conservatives warned May not to "engage in a show of resistance and a choreographed argument followed by surrender" to the EU.

Prime Minister Theresa May (left) and Arlene Foster, the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) during a visit to Belleek pottery factory on the northern side of the border between Enniskillen in Northern Ireland and Ballyshannon in Donegal.

EU Council President Donald Tusk said he, too, was more optimistic than after a bad-tempered EU summit last month and stalled negotiations last weekend.

"But, even more important, Labour in government has a plan for a post-Brexit Britain where we use the powers available to kick start the economy and rebuild our industry, infrastructure and public services in all regions and nations of the United Kingdom".

"There is a very real sense that people want a deal to be done".

But the meeting that had been painted as a make-or-break moment for a Brexit deal ended with a whimper.

"I'm convinced a deal is necessary, I'm still not sure we'll get one", he said.

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He also denied his late-night Wednesday drink with Mrs Merkel and Belgium's Charles Michel and Luxembourg's Xavier Bettel was a snub to Mrs May, explaining the prime minister had already left the European Union summit before they headed out.

"On 29 March, it's game over", he said. A deal must be sealed soon so parliaments have time to give their verdict on it.

Underscoring the newfound sense of non-urgency, Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz of Austria, which holds the rotating European Union presidency, even spoke of the "coming weeks and months" to get a deal and sought to impose a soothing calm.

"There's no need to dramatize matters".

"It is always the case in negotiations that they are tense and hard and challenging at the end".

It has become an excuse for the lack of urgency in Brexit talks. "There is a message of goodwill", said Antonio Tajani, president of the European Parliament.

"Politically speaking, a will was expressed to move forward and reach agreement but there was nothing substantively new in terms of content", Tajani told reporters.

The latest warning comes days after Mr Mundell wrote to the Prime Minister saying that different treatment of Northern Ireland was an issue for himself and the Scottish Conservative Party.

Both sides agree there must be no hard border, but each has rejected the other side's solution.

They insisted Britain must avoid the "purgatory of perpetual membership of the EU's customs union".

"On the withdrawal agreement there are a few but considerable outstanding issues in relation to the northern Irish backstop".

It would also mean that Britain would lose its seat at the table where those quotas are set on an annual basis from Brexit day, leaving Scottish fisherman, who overwhelmingly backed Brexit, trapped in the CFP without any say for three and a half years. "They do not know themselves what they really want. That is the problem".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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