Published: Thu, October 18, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

UK PM meets Macron ahead of Brexit talks

UK PM meets Macron ahead of Brexit talks

While it could help May sell a deal at home, it won't remove the need to accept the most controversial part of the EU's proposal - that in a last-resort situation, Northern Ireland could be split off from the rest of Britain. "The message was more relaxed than in Salzburg, certainly.but I did not perceive anything substantially new in terms of content".

The prime minister spoke for about 15 minutes at a dinner of all 28 European Union leaders, after which they will decide what their next move should be.

He said: 'Once the deal is presented to Parliament, the procedure through which it is voted upon must allow for an unequivocal decision, and one which is clear to the British public. Her so-called Chequers plan has already been rejected both by the European Union and her own party and the prime minister has not even begun the process of spelling out which of the alternative available options she is willing to accept.

The main disagreement between London and Brussels is over how to keep the Irish border open after Brexit, but May is also fighting with her own MPs, who must ultimately approve the final divorce deal.

BRUSSELS-The European Union is prepared to give the extra transition year to negotiate a trade agreement in an effort to break a stalemate in Brexit negotiations. Brexit must be orderly for everyone and for all the issues, including on the island of Ireland.

The Taoiseach said Ireland could look favourably on such a plan which would be helpful to everyone concerned as the implications of Brexit could require more time.

May has repeatedly ruled out extending what she calls an implementation period, but at least one of her ministers has indicated he may support such a step.

"We need much time, much more time and we continue to work in the next weeks", EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said Wednesday, according to The Associated Press.

Mr Barnier is said to be offering the extension to the transition period in return for the Prime Minister accepting a "two-tier" backstop to avoid a border with Northern Ireland. President Donald Trump has long said he wants a deal with Britain, even as it negotiates a messy European Union exit.

European leaders are now discussing another summit in November - or even December before the holidays - to secure a possible accord. "That would backfire spectacularly".

UEFA Nations League Report: France v Germany 16 October 2018
Antoine Griezmann (right) celebrates a goal - his double overturned Toni Kroos's opener in Saint Denis and consigned Germany to a sixth defeat in 10 matches.

But Mrs May did not come forward with new "concrete proposals" on the border issue, which European Council president Donald Tusk said were needed to break the deadlock.

"Everybody around the table wants to get a deal".

British Prime Minister Theresa May also spoke about "working intensively over the next days and weeks" to achieve agreement that avoids a no-deal departure from the bloc on March 29 that could create chaos at the borders and in the economy.

"I am still cautiously optimistic [about the deal]".

In the meantime, the chances of an extraordinary summit being held in November to finalise an agreement have all but vanished as sufficient progress in the talks had not been made.

"Today we do not know what they want".

"The original transition was an unnecessary trap created by our weak civil servants who can not be trusted as they don't want us to leave. There is still time for the drama to play".

"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. Westminster rises on December 20 for Christmas.

In a separate development, it became clear France and Germany were now drawing up contingency plans for Britain crashing out of the EU.

Any extension would cost billions of pounds in EU fees and leave Britain under European rules for nearly six years after the referendum result. The Tory's chief whip told May on Tuesday that Parliament would vote it down.

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