No-deal Brexit more and more likely

17 Octobre, 2018, 10:43 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Dominic Raab and Michel Barnier

However, Theresa May will be excluded from the meal where the leaders of the 27 nations staying in the European Union after Brexit will discuss the state of the talks.

However, she admitted there could be a gap between the end of the two-year transition and when that free trade deal is concluded. It is now due to run for 21 months, up to December 2020.

As one European Union diplomat put it: "it has to be made sure that there is never a hard border on the island of Ireland, and I don't see us agreeing to something that lapses after three years".

Members of May's own party and the Conservatives' parliamentary allies oppose the Prime Minister's current proposals for the future EU-UK border in Ireland, putting her in a political straitjacket that restricts the "creative" ideas Tusk seeks.

Some ministers want a specific end-date, but No.10 is working on a different plan to avoid turning a planned temporary customs arrangement into an indefinite tie to the EU.

In case a Brexit agreement is not reached - "or in case it is rejected" - leaders at Wednesday's meeting "will discuss how to step up our preparations for a no-deal scenario", Tusk said....

Speculation had mounted the summons could spell a final deal between the two sides, after the EU's lead negotiator Michel Barnier said a deal was "possible" this month.

The warning came as Mrs May appealed for loyalty from her ministers, telling them to "stand together and stand firm" to deliver Brexit.

Mrs May will address the other 27 European Union national leaders at a summit before they sit down to dinner without her.

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The concerns were intensified after eight pro-Brexit ministers including Michael Gove, Dominic Raab and Jeremy Hunt met over pizzas in Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom's office the evening before Cabinet to discuss the Government's position in the negotiations.

In what appeared to be a direct appeal to cabinet ministers due to meet the prime minister on Tuesday morning, he added: "I would say to colleagues we do not want this".

The key sticking point is the backstop.

Summit chair Donald Tusk warned that the risk of a "no deal" dumping Britain out of the bloc and into legal limbo and border chaos on March 29 was greater than ever.

Whether a solution comes about in November or not, Republic of Ireland Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has already brought up the possibility of yet another summit in December.

Mr Barnier said that "more time" was needed to find an agreement to deliver an orderly United Kingdom withdrawal and keep the Irish border open.

He told the News Letter: "There are a lot of things that are being said at the moment by many people, some of them are ill-informed".

"We'll just have to keep negotiating", said German Chancellor Angela Merkel, while French President Emmanuel Macron said he believed "we can make progress".

Although this is in no small part thanks to Brexit and the attendant calls for a vote on Irish unity, it is at least notionally over issues, like the status of the Irish language in Northern Ireland, that could have been resolved long ago if the DUP wasn't so unyielding.

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