European Union calls for new proposals from Theresa May to break Brexit deadlock

Clay Curtis
October 17, 2018

Raab, who replaced David Davis after he resigned from his post saying Theresa May's proposals for a deal with the European Union would not really deliver Brexit, flew out to Brussels on Sunday for surprise talks amid speculation that an agreement was imminent - but they broke down after little more than an hour, according to The Times.

Negotiators were locked in intensive talks last week as expectations rose of a possible deal by the October meeting of European Union leaders, but broke down over the weekend after a brief emergency trip to Brussels by UK Brexit minister Dominic Raab to Brussels on Sunday evening.

There was however "a very detailed discussion" of the outstanding problems with the EU's solution for avoiding a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.

The EU has stuck to its position - a backstop to prevent a return to a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland can not be time-limited and can not include the whole of the United Kingdom remaining in the customs union.

As the Prime Minister flies to Brussels for a crunch summit today, Mr Hunt said now was the time to unite behind the Prime Minister, adding: "We owe it to her to be rock solid in our support as she battles for Britain".

If the existing transition expired before it was ready, then the original Northern Ireland-specific backstop would have to kick in.

Business Insider reported last week that Leadsom, Mordaunt and Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey were all prepared to quit Cabinet if the prime minister did not change her plans for the Brexit backstop.

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Fitzgerald stopped short of saying if how they died was related to those gunshots. Neighbor Joan Smrekar said she woke to shots close to 1 a.m. on Monday.

The mood among pro-Brexit Conservative was summed up by Simon Clark, who told the prime minister directly that she had as "failed to reassure" MPs that the United Kingdom will definitely leave the customs union by December 2020, amid fears that the United Kingdom could be wedded to the EU's customs arrangements for years and years to come.

"We will use that time, calmly, with serious intent to find the overall deal in the coming weeks", he said. "The backstop will, unfortunately, be there until and unless something else is agreed", he said.

Leaders will decide at dinner after May has left them on Wednesday whether to firm up a tentative plan to hold a special Brexit summit in mid-November. The thinking in Brussels is that she also needs to show politically that she did not agree to the EU's demand, but fought back. "This is going to be a hard time, but the whole Cabinet is digging in to get the best deal for this country".

Some member states are keen for the European Union commission to publish its plans but for different reasons.

"There have been a lot of reports lately, mostly on social media, that my department has been planning to lower food and farming standards when negotiating Free Trade Agreements post-Brexit", Fox will tell farming industry representatives in a speech.

French president Emmanuel Macron hit a conciliatory tone on Monday, saying at a press conference that progress is possible in the next days. Opponents of Brexit argue a US trade deal means opening up Britain's markets to the likes of chlorine-treated chicken and genetically modified crops.

In his letter, Tusk said: "As you remember from Salzburg, we wished for maximum progress and results that would lead to a deal in October".

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