Not enough progress has been made on Brexit, EU leaders say

Clay Curtis
October 19, 2018

He repeated his party's criticisms of the EU's Irish border backstop position. By the end of the day, a November summit that had been planned to move into the next phase of discussions had been called off, due to a lack of progress. It was not to be. Strict question. We will be free to, yes, we will no longer be a member of the European Union, we will be free to operate our migration policy as we see fit. The shared commitments also go further, however, and include upholding the 1998 Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement and supporting north-south cooperation on the island of Ireland and the all-island economy. That agreement ended decades of sectarian strife.

Under the EU's backstop proposal Northern Ireland would stay in the single market and customs union while the rest of the United Kingdom withdraws.

It's hard to see how Theresa May can cut the Gordian knot of the Irish border.

Helen McEntee was speaking after a meeting involving Mrs May and Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar. Hence irresistible force meets immovable object.

The latest impasse in the talks has prompted many Brexit supporters and even critics of Britain's departure to air their frustration over an exit which some Brexit campaigners had said would be the easiest deal ever.

EU Council President Donald Tusk said: "What I feel today is that we are closer to the final solutions and the deal".

"If Theresa May is asking for a longer transition period, she is stalling", said Tory MP Nadine Dorries.

The situation is tricky and European leaders are quite exasperated. The final Brexit agreement should be signed on March 29, 2019, after which the United Kingdom is scheduled to enter the transition period.

With a crucial vote in parliament on any deal, May, who lost her Conservative Party's majority in an election past year, risks a damaging defeat.

Wednesday's Brexit summit dinner in Brussels was supposed to be the "moment of truth" when states gave the green light for Brexit, say Daniel Boffey and Jennifer Rankin in the Guardian.

An aide to Macron said he and Merkel walked back together to their hotel from the summit and when they got there he got a text from Bettel inviting him round the corner for a drink: "It was totally spur of the moment", the aide said.

May will rejoin her European Union counterparts on Thursday as the focus shifts to a summit with Asian leaders, including China's Premier Li Keqiang and the prime ministers of Japan and Russian Federation.

After amendment, this agreement was supported by the DUP and by David Davis and Boris Johnson.

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The countdown to Brexit is on as Saturday marks six months until Britain is slated to exit the European Union.

If May loses, there would be a leadership contest with the victor becoming prime minister, without the need for new elections.

It did not help the prime minister either when Raab suggested that any European Union withdrawal bill would be a take-it-or-leave-it proposition when it came before Parliament.

"Hard Brexit means that there are going to be some tough choices to be taken -I think that's what they're working on right now". "MPs must be given the opportunity to scrutinise, consider and, where appropriate, amend any resolution the Government puts forward".

This leaves us with the fallout from Wednesday's bust-up.

"On 29 March, it's game over", he said.

"It is not good way to proceed by saying it would be a disaster in case of no deal..."

One EU diplomat closely involved in the negotiations said May's intervention had revived spirits after the disappointments of the weekend: "The atmosphere has improved". So much for taking back control over the UK's borders, laws and money.

This would come into effect after the transition ends - but both sides strongly disagree on its terms, and the issue is holding up the rest of the Brexit talks.

Despite all this, Mrs May says she is still convinced she will get a deal on Britain's withdrawal from the EU.

And EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: "It will be done".

In the meantime, business still needs clarity; inward investment into the land of hope and glory is still dwindling. "We need time, we need much more time..."

The European Council also stressed the need for a wide range of measures to build stronger cyber security, prevent and respond to radicalization and terrorism, face challenges presented by technological developments, and increase crisis management capacity.

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