intense negotiations on Sunday in Brussels have failed to unblock the negotiations on the british withdrawal from the european Union, which comes up again and again on the fate of the border irish after the Brexit. The prospect that the european summit that opens Wednesday evening in Brussels to mark the outcome of these negotiations is still far away Sunday night, less than six months from the date of a divorce, scheduled for march 29, 2019.
” Despite intensive efforts, certain key issues are still outstanding, including one of the “safety net” to avoid a border lasts ” between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, has written to the chief negotiator of the european, the French Michel Barnier, on his Twitter account. He spoke after a meeting-a surprise with the british minister in charge of Brexit, Dominic Raab, whose travel to Brussels had been announced at the last minute, hinting at a breakthrough in negotiations.
We met today @DominicRaab and UK negotiating team. Despite intense efforts, some key issues are still open, including the backstop for IE/OR to avoid a hard border. I will debrief the EU27 and @Europarl_EN on the #Brexit negotiations.
— Michel Barnier (@MichelBarnier) October 14, 2018
“It was agreed that discussions in face-to-face were needed upstream of the european summit,” had said earlier, a spokesman for Dominic Raab to explain this visit. The intensification of the discussions will not be enough, and the ambassadors of 27 european countries in the EU have been informed in the evening by Mr Barnier, that there would be no more negotiations here at the summit, told the Agence France-Presse several diplomatic sources. “The door remains open” to finding an agreement beyond this summit, but many countries ” have urged the EU is intensifying its preparation for the scenario of no deal “, that is to say, of a divorce without agreement, said a diplomat.
Threats of resignation
The First british minister Theresa May will meet Tuesday, on the eve of the summit, with his key ministers to discuss this question explosive the border between the british province of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, which has become the main stumbling block of the negotiations. Several ministers threatening to resign, reports the british press, if Theresa May does not review its plans.
The former minister in charge of Brexit, David Davis, who had himself resigned in July, has called on the members of the government to “exercise their authority collective” in the face of the “fundamental flaws” of the strategy of the First minister, in a column published in the Sunday Times. London is committed to not re-instate of physical border on the island of Ireland, in order to preserve the peace agreement of good Friday, and signed in 1998. But this commitment is in conflict with the desire to leave the single market and the eu customs union, which makes in theory inevitable controls of goods at the border of ireland.
Theresa May proposes an “arrangement customs interim” between the Uk and the EU, up to the emergence of a long-term solution to ensure that there will be no return to a physical border. But within his conservative party, this option has been wiped out by the eurosceptics, who fear that it will become permanent and prevent the conclusion of trade agreements with third countries. “Provisional means” eternal, has launched on Saturday the mp Jacob Rees Mogg.
“Annexation” permanent “
And on the EU side, the negotiators want to avoid at all costs that the United Kingdom seeks to obtain access “to the map” to the single market and the customs area of europe, without the obligations which are linked. Michel Barnier insists and in order to get a firm commitment that, for lack of a better solution, during the negotiations on the future relationship between the EU and London, the Northern Ireland-only will remain in the customs union and the single market, without date limit.
But this solution will create a new frontier of made, this time between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom, protests the small unionist party northern irish DUP, whose ten members are essential to the government of Theresa May to keep the absolute majority in Parliament. This would be a “annexation and permanent Northern Ireland, which would come out of the Uk, and we would forever be subject to written rules without us having our say,” said its leader, Arlene Foster, in a column published Saturday by the Belfast Telegraph.
The DUP is now “ready for a scenario [exit] without agreement,” wrote Sunday in The observer. To alleviate concerns, an extension of the transition period, post-Brexit, during which the United Kingdom will remain in the single market and the customs union, has, according to several british media, been discussed at the negotiating table. This transition is normally expected to be completed by the end of December 2020. The extend would result in a bill of divorce to settle by London, have already warned of the elected eurosceptics of the british conservative Party.
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