EU hopes fade for Nov summit to seal Brexit deal

Elias Hubbard
November 8, 2018

Mrs May is under intense pressure to publish the full legal advice setting out how any customs arrangement to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland could be ended.

A Downing Street source said it showed "where we are so far" but does "not imply a deal has been done".

"We will have to fight against those who want to demolish Europe with their fear, their populist deceit", he told more than 700 EPP delegates in Helsinki, before naming the former Ukip leader Nigel Farage. Britain has complained this would create a border in the Irish Sea between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom.

A memorandum leaked from within the British government gives a taste of a possible finale to the Brexit drama: Prime Minister Theresa May hails a deal in just over 10 days, supporters cheer as arranged, and the pact is put to a vote in parliament on November 27.

"But we do have one scheduled for the 13th, 14th of December, so not getting it done in November doesn't mean we can't get it done in the first two weeks of December".

Brussels' chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said "more work is needed" but "we remain determined to reach a deal".

"I think some initially thought it might have some news regarding Ireland and the border but I am told it doesn't have any of that".

Varadkar spoke to British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday, agreeing that any backstop should be temporary.

Barnier is this week at the meeting of his European People's Party in Helsinki and there is nothing on his public agenda about an imminent meeting with Britain's Brexit minister Dominic Raab.

"This election will be tougher than those before", Barnier said.

A meeting of foreign ministers of the 27 has been called for next Monday in Brussels, during which they will be informed by Michel Barnier of the state of the work with London, announced on Wednesday that the council of the European Union in a press release.

May, meanwhile, has to make sure any deal wins the approval of her party and parliament.

On Tuesday the man in charge of the European Union's contingency planning for this potentially disastrous scenario, civil service head Martin Selmayr, sounded pessimistic.

"For the moment, it is three steps forward, two steps back", commented the secretary general of the european Commission, Martin Selmayr at a meeting Tuesday evening in Brussels with German representatives, according to comments reported by the correspondent of the German weekly Der Spiegel.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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