Published: Wed, December 06, 2017
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Key meeting for Theresa May as Brexit talks enter decisive phase

Key meeting for Theresa May as Brexit talks enter decisive phase

Prime Minister Theresa May said on Wednesday the government would give more details about how to preserve and protect the United Kingdom's internal market in the second phase of Brexit talks.

Katya Adler said there was an "upbeat mood" of "cautious optimism".

But, they warn, other member states, including powerhouses Germany and France, are growing nervous that they will not have enough time to scrutinize draft guidelines for the trade negotiations if they do not receive them a week before a summit next Friday at which leaders would approve them.

Johnson said Wednesday that "the best way to sort it out is to get onto the second phase of the negotiations, where all these hard issues can be properly teased out, thrashed out, and solved".

"We're not quite yet where we need to be".

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and his Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier will meet EU lawmakers early on Monday, an EU official said on Sunday.

With significant headway apparently made on the financial settlement and European Union citizens' rights, a deal on the Irish border appears to be the main hurdle in the talks.

"In the final stretch of these complex negotiations, the prime minister is on a razor edge", he writes, and wonders whether Mrs May's latest concession to Brussels might now "unpin the Brexit hand grenade in the UK" and "ignite Belfast, and then Edinburgh and Cardiff" in revolt against her planned deal.

May told ministers that Britain and the European Union were very close to an agreement though a small number of issues were outstanding, her spokesman said.

They once suggested Britain could leave without a deal.

The party opposed the agreement because it said it wanted no "regulatory divergence" between Northern Ireland and the rest of Britain. But any solution will need the support of Northern Ireland's pro-Brexit Democratic Unionist Party, whose 10 members of parliament are propping up May's government.

Coveney said that draft texts were produced following progress in talks last Thursday and that discussions had continued over the weekend. "The Irish government remains hopeful", the official said.

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