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World EU: Brexit deal still possible this week, UK must act now

16:06  15 october  2019
16:06  15 october  2019 Source:

Germany's Merkel and France's Macron to meet ahead of crunch Brexit summit

  Germany's Merkel and France's Macron to meet ahead of crunch Brexit summit Germany's Merkel and France's Macron to meet ahead of crunch Brexit summitAs the clock ticks down to the Oct. 31 departure date, Brexit descended into a public row between London and Brussels this week as both sides position for another delay followed by an election or an acrimonious divorce.

The EU ’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, has said that securing a deal at this week ’s EU summit will be difficult but “ still possible ” after Downing Street tabled new proposals on Monday leading EU sources to suggest there was now “cautious optimism” that a deal could be in the making.

Discussions between EU and UK officials aimed at reaching a Brexit deal have intensified in recent days. EU internal talk is focusing now on a possible "holding pattern statement" at this week 's EU leaders summit, along the lines of "we've made great progress in negotiations but still need more time".

LUXEMBOURG (AP) — A Brexit divorce deal is still possible ahead of Thursday's European Union summit but the British government needs to move ahead with more compromises to seal an agreement in the next few hours, the bloc said Tuesday.

Brexit divorce talks between UK and EU go down to the wire

  Brexit divorce talks between UK and EU go down to the wire LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Cabinet colleagues that it will require a "significant amount of work" to strike a Brexit deal with the European Union, amid signs of progress in last-minute talks but also deep-seated skepticism about the chances of an agreement. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); Britain is due to leave the 28-nation bloc on Oct. 31, and attempts to find a deal have foundered over plans for keeping an open border between EU member Ireland and the U.K.

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has said a Brexit deal could be possible as early as this week , as negotiations between the UK and the EU resume in Brussels. With time running out before a crucial EU summit later this week

Later this week , [at] the European summit, the leaders will probably assess a possible extension. Michel Barnier, the EU ’s chief Brexit negotiator, is briefing them on the progress in the Brexit talks. And here is the PoliticsHome list of today’s top 10 must -reads. If you want to follow me or contact me

Even though many open questions remain, diplomats made it clear that both sides were for the first time within touching distance since an earlier EU-U.K. Brexit withdrawal plan fell apart in the British House of Commons in March.

EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said at a meeting of EU ministers that the main challenge now is to turn the new British proposals on the complex Irish border issue into something binding. EU member Ireland has a land border with the U.K.'s Northern Ireland and both want to keep that border invisible, for economic and peace treaty reasons. But once Britain leaves the bloc, that Irish border turns into an external EU border that the bloc wants to keep secure.

Barnier said it's "high time to turn good intentions into a legal text." He wants a clear answer by Wednesday morning to tell EU capitals what should be decided once the bloc's two-day summit kicks off on Thursday.

The Queen just read out Boris Johnson's stump speech

  The Queen just read out Boris Johnson's stump speech The pageantry of the State Opening of Parliament may be over, but the UK's bumper Brexit week has only just begun. © UK ParliamentAfter making Queen Elizabeth quite literally hoof it over to the Houses of Parliament and read out his plans for the forthcoming legislative session, Boris Johnson needs to get back to the real task in hand -- getting a Brexit deal. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); Such a pivot would not ordinarily be required on the day of a Queen's Speech.

The EU ’s chief Brexit negotiator has called on London to “turn good intentions into a legal text,” while expressing optimism that a deal can be agreed by the end Some of his European colleagues aren’t as convinced. “Even if an agreement has been difficult, more and more difficult, it’s still possible this

What is the Brexit deal ? The deal consisted of a withdrawal agreement Mr Johnson still insists the UK will leave at the end of October. It is unclear how this will happen if the Mr Johnson has tried to calm such fears by announcing an extra £2.1bn of funding to prepare for a possible no- deal outcome.

"Even if an agreement will be difficult — more and more difficult, we think — it is still possible this week," Barnier said.

To further boost the momentum, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss where more movement could be found.

Britain is scheduled to leave the EU on Oct. 31, and the EU summit this week was long considered one of the last possible chances to approve a divorce agreement to accommodate that deadline. Johnson insists his country will leave at the end of the month with or without a divorce deal, but British lawmakers have been adamant on avoiding a no-deal Brexit.

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney, who had a long, intense talk with Barnier early Tuesday, said the EU believes "this is difficult, but it is doable." He said Barnier addressed EU ministers and "did point to progress in the last number of days where the gaps have been narrowed."

Boris Johnson’s Brexit Deal on Knife Edge

  Boris Johnson’s Brexit Deal on Knife Edge U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal was hanging in the balance Tuesday, after the European Union Presidency said more time was needed before a summit of its leaders this week. © Getty Images New Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne Visits Berlin Antti Rinne, premier of Finland -- which currently has the rotating presidency of the EU -- said negotiations may need to continue after the EU Council summit that starts Thursday. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

Brexit : What happens now ? By Peter Barnes Senior elections and political analyst, BBC News. If the UK and EU can't agree a deal then under the so-called Benn Act the prime minister is obliged to But clearly, this is not something the current government is contemplating - so it's only really possible to

despite fears negotiations will collapse over customs partnership amid Tory fury at EU demands UK and Brussels negotiators have locked themselves away to hammer out a deal Simon Coveney, Irish deputy PM, said this morning a deal this week is ' possible ' Dublin today injected fresh optimism into ongoing Brexit talks as the Irish deputy prime minister

A senior German official wouldn't rule out a Brexit agreement in principle by Wednesday afternoon, but stressed the importance of time-consuming specifications.

"The basis for our decisions are legal texts in which the details are settled," the official, who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity in line with department rules, said in Berlin. "But there has been progress, and as always in these negotiations the biggest progress happens over the final meters."

Late Monday, Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok said the British proposals to keep the Irish border protected from smuggling and fraud once it leaves the bloc were insufficient.

"The U.K. proposal contained some steps forward but not enough to guarantee that the internal market will be protected," Blok said.

One EU diplomat said for things to work, technical negotiators would need to finish their text and make it available by 10 a.m. Wednesday so European governments have time to assess them.

EU ministers insisted it was time for Johnson to make the next move — and he seemed to be listening. Besides the call with Macron, Johnson shifted Britain's weekly Cabinet meeting from Tuesday to Wednesday so he could give his ministers a better idea of Brexit progress.

If talks fail or stumble ahead of the EU summit, there could always be an extraordinary meeting just ahead of the Oct. 31 Brexit departure — or the Brexit deadline could be extended again.

"There will be progress tomorrow, the question is how big this progress will be," the German official said. "Is this progress so great that work is still needed, but this work can be done in the next few days? Or is the progress such that two more months' work is needed?"

Brexit negotiators, politicians and ordinary Europeans were all waiting for the answers to those questions.


Geir Moulson in Berlin and Sylvie Corbet in Paris contributed.


Follow AP's full coverage of Brexit and British politics at

Boris Johnson launches bid for December election to break Brexit impasse .
Boris Johnson will launch an attempt to hold a general election in Britain on December 12 to "get Brexit done."The British prime minister will attempt to convince members of Parliament to formally back the bid on Monday, but he will need the support of two-thirds of the House of Commons. Britain's next scheduled election is not until 2022.

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