BRUSSELS: British Prime Minister Theresa Might and EU Fee President Jean-Claude Juncker sparred on Thursday throughout “sturdy” talks on the UK’s Brexit plans, and agreed to carry extra negotiations that might push the sealing of any deal to inside a month of Britain’s scheduled departure.
Trying on the ever tighter deadline and yawning divisions, Might mentioned “it’s not going to be simple” however vowed: “I’m going to ship Brexit. I’m going to ship it on time.”
The 2 leaders agreed to fulfill for extra talks “earlier than the tip of February to take inventory of those discussions,” a joint assertion mentioned. Two years in the past, Might set Brexit day as March 29 and initially plans had been to have a deal in place six months forward of time.
Either side nonetheless essentially disagree on whether or not a draft authorized withdrawal settlement could possibly be modified to take the most recent British objections under consideration, drastically lowering the probabilities of a fast breakthrough.
“The EU27 won’t reopen the Withdrawal Settlement, which represents a rigorously balanced compromise between the European Union and the U.Ok., by which either side have made vital concessions,” the joint assertion mentioned.
The simmering stress was evident within the leaders’ physique language as they met in a stiff ceremony.
As a substitute of his ordinary jovial kisses, Juncker held out his hand for Might to shake and rapidly ushered her off into his workplaces. One reporter shouted at her: “Is that this hell, prime minister?” It was a reference to feedback by European Council President Donald Tusk, who exacerbated the frosty local weather on Wednesday by questioning aloud what “particular place in hell” is likely to be reserved for many who backed Brexit with no thought of learn how to ship it.
Highlighting the sensitivities, a public welcome look on digicam between Might and Tusk was cancelled hours earlier than the encounter.
UK officers mentioned Might’s major concern was to not be “trapped” in a system that might see Britain linked to the EU in a customs union for an indefinite time.
Britain’s Parliament voted down Might’s Brexit deal final month, largely due to considerations a couple of provision for the border between the UK’s Northern Eire and EU member Eire. The mechanism, often known as the backstop, is a safeguard that will preserve the UK in a customs union with the EU to take away the necessity for checks alongside the Irish border till a everlasting new buying and selling relationship is in place.
Thursday’s assertion mentioned that Might “raised numerous choices for coping with these considerations within the context of the Withdrawal Settlement.” Many professional-Brexit British lawmakers say they gained’t vote for the withdrawal settlement except the backstop is eliminated.
Might is searching for modifications within the 585-page legally binding withdrawal settlement to attain that, one thing which the 27 different EU leaders proceed to vehemently oppose.
Juncker and the opposite EU leaders have agreed to search for a compromise in a political textual content accompanying the withdrawal settlement, however not within the authorized doc itself.
Revealed in Daybreak, February eighth, 2019