UK News: Last-gasp Brexit deal set to dominate fraught EU summit - - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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UK News Last-gasp Brexit deal set to dominate fraught EU summit

05:45  17 october  2019
05:45  17 october  2019 Source:   reuters.com

Brexit latest: EU leaders suggest more time is needed to reach deal as last-minute talks fail to result in agreement

  Brexit latest: EU leaders suggest more time is needed to reach deal as last-minute talks fail to result in agreement Leo Varadkar said negotiators were 'making progress' but there are 'many issues' still to be resolvedIrish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said negotiators were "making progress" in the talks but that as the time is running out before a crucial meeting of leaders on Thursday, there were still "many issues" yet to be resolved.

President of the European Council Donald Tusk has reportedly claimed that a Brexit agreement between the bloc and the UK could be signed off Johnson has until Saturday to finalize a deal with Brussels, otherwise UK law states he must request a delay past the October 31 Brexit deadline.

Last - gasp Brexit deal set to dominate fraught EU summit . EU -US airliner war in nobody's interests: Airbus chief.

a person wearing a suit and tie: European Union leaders summit in Brussels © Reuters/TOBY MELVILLE European Union leaders summit in Brussels

By Marine Strauss and Philip Blenkinsop

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union leaders' two-day summit in Brussels starting on Thursday will be dominated by last-gasp efforts to seal a deal on Britain's exit from the bloc despite a raft of other pressing issues, from the crisis in the Middle East to the bloc's budget.

The meeting will be Boris Johnson's first and last EU summit as prime minister of Britain if an agreement on his country's Oct. 31 divorce can be sealed with the other 27 member states and approved by parliament at a special session on Saturday.

Johnson heads for crunch EU summit as deal talks continue

  Johnson heads for crunch EU summit as deal talks continue Negotiations look set to go down to the wire.After a roller coaster few days of political twists and turns when an agreement seemed within touching distance, talks continued as the Prime Minister faced his EU counterpart before an expected Parliamentary showdown Saturday.

Talks continue but agreement of legal text for leaders to approve looks unlikely.

However, EU sources are reportedly concerned that there might be not enough time to solve the technical issues stemming from the new customs With two weeks to go until the 31 October deadline, Brexit may well continue into next year even if Boris Johnson agrees to a new deal with the EU

"The basic foundations of this agreement are ready and theoretically we could accept a deal," said European Council President Donald Tusk, who will chair the summit.

Officials said that almost all of the differences between the world's fifth-largest economy and its biggest trading bloc over their split had been resolved after marathon talks in Brussels.

However, Johnson is struggling to win the parliamentary backing he needs from politicians dismayed by concessions made over how to treat the border between EU member Ireland and the British province of Northern Ireland.

If Johnson fails to win approval in London, he will almost certainly have to seek another delay of the departure date, more than three years after Britain voted in a referendum to leave.

Brexit deal 'almost there' as crunch talks go on

  Brexit deal 'almost there' as crunch talks go on British and EU negotiators worked late into the night into Thursday in the hopes of presenting a last-minute Brexit deal to leaders meeting for a crunch European summit. Both sides said they were close to finding a basis for a treaty to ensure Britain heads for a managed withdrawal from the European bloc it has been part of for nearly half a century. But officials had to iron out details on how British-ruled Northern Ireland would remain under the European VAT regime.It was also not clear if British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be able to sell the deal at home.

The European Union ’s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier made clear at a meeting of ministers in Varadkar said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told him at a meeting last week that he was It believes the only possible deal to be had at the summit is a return to a ‘backstop’ solution - already

Boris Johnson's hopes of securing a Brexit deal are riding on the upcoming EU summitCredit: London News Pictures. Speaking at a joint press conference last night, Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel have declared Britain and the EU are on the brink of sealing a Brexit deal at today’s summit .

The leaders will also contend at the summit with other challenges facing the EU, which has been torn in recent years by euroscepticism and economic disparities.

They will discuss the crisis in Syria touched off by Turkey's incursion against U.S.-allied Kurdish forces. Earlier this week, the bloc agreed to limit arms exports to Turkey over its offensive, but stopped short of a bloc-wide embargo against their NATO ally.

"This is a deep, durable and multi-faceted crisis," said one senior EU diplomat, adding that there is serious concern among EU member states that the crisis will flush out foreign Islamic State militants who could come to Europe.

TENSIONS OVER ENLARGEMENT

Differences over plans for the EU's first enlargement since 2013 will be exposed at the summit, with France determined that Albania and North Macedonia are not ready for membership talks.

Paris says challenges facing the EU - including Brexit, the emergence of China as a strategic rival and security threats posed by Russia - are already too extensive to admit two more states from a region still scarred by the legacy of 1990s wars and struggling with crime and corruption.

Blow for Johnson as DUP highlights obstacles to Brexit deal

  Blow for Johnson as DUP highlights obstacles to Brexit deal Arlene Foster and Nigel Dodds said they cannot support what is being suggested on customs and consent issues, and there is a lack of clarity on VAT.The Prime Minister is hoping to bring back a deal from the Brussels meeting of European leaders while winning the backing of the DUP, which also wields influence over some Tory Brexiteers.

European affairs ministers are set to meet on Tuesday, when they'll receive an update on proceedings from EU negotiator Michel Barnier. On Wednesday, France and Germany hold their annual summit in which Brexit looks certain to feauture. If any deal is to be struck, it will need the blessing of the EU 's

EU leaders want a new deal , but it's hard to see how this can be agreed before this week's summit . Now there's lots of speculation, smoke and mirrors - but no sign of white smoke that a new Brexit deal is nigh. "We felt last week that things would now move very quickly," one northern European diplomat

"It's a very difficult and political debate," said a second senior EU diplomat, describing it as an effort to find a balance between stabilizing the Balkans and risking the functioning of the bloc itself.

Another key issue will be the EU's budget for 2021-2027, called the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), with the biggest problem how to cover the shortfall when Britain leaves.

Member states have yet to agree how much individual countries should contribute, a question made all the more difficult by proposals to end a system of rebates.

"It's not a discussion that will end in consensus, but the first time that they will enter into the numbers game," said a third senior EU diplomat. "The positions are clear, but obviously there is division."

The summit will also be a chance for EU leaders to find common ground on climate targets ahead of a U.N. summit in Chile in December.

There is broad, though not unanimous, support for the EU to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, but there are differences among members over how much progress should be made by 2030. In 2018, the majority of EU states agreed on a 40% reduction, a goal some have criticised as not ambitious enough.

(Additional reporting by Jonas Ekblom; Writing by John Chalmers; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

Brexit deal: Jean-Claude Juncker says new agreement means no need for 'prolongation' – but EU leaders will have final say .
"The good news is we have a deal, the bad news is that Britain will leave the European Union," he told reportersSpeaking on his way into a European Council summit in Brussels, the outgoing head of the EU's civil service said he and Boris Johnson "agreed" that there will be no need for a further delay to Brexit.

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