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EU leaders say key Brexit issues still not resolved in fresh blow for Theresa May


EU leaders have thrown Theresa May’s hopes of a Brexit deal this month into recent jeopardy, after warning that essential obstacles stay.

A gathering in Brussels was instructed there had been no important progress on find out how to settle future disputes over the Irish border, with the 2 sides additionally nonetheless far aside on fishing rights.

The decision, delivered at a briefing of EU27 ambassadors by the Brussels negotiating staff, forged recent doubt on the prime minister’s hopes of agreeing an overview deal by the center of subsequent week.

If that deadline is missed, it’s unlikely that an emergency summit to signal it off might be held in November – throwing again a ultimate settlement till the center of December.

That would go away the UK having to ramp off hugely-expensive no-deal preparations and at risk of being unable to cross all mandatory laws earlier than Brexit day subsequent March.

An “optimistic” timetable, floated by Downing Road, imagined Dominic Raab, the Brexit secretary, and Michel Barnier, the EU negotiator, offered with a authorized textual content agreed by officers on Tuesday.

However the ambassadors assembly was instructed, by Mr Barnier’s deputy Sabine Weyand, that there was no settlement on a joint overview mechanism to permit the UK to interrupt freed from the Irish border “backstop”.

Liam Fox, the worldwide commerce secretary, raised the stakes when he insisted that decision must be made alone by the “sovereign British authorities”, with out EU involvement.

The worry of pro-Brexit Tories is that the UK will likely be locked indefinitely into the EU customs union – unable to signal its personal commerce offers – except it might finish the backstop unilaterally.

That’s unacceptable to Brussels, which – in accordance with one report – has additionally rejected Britain’s proposal of impartial arbitration, to determine when know-how is on the market to keep away from border checks.

The EU is believed to have insisted it might be legally unimaginable for such a vital determination to be made by a physique aside from the European Court of Justice – which is equally unacceptable to the UK.

Britain has additionally demanded that the fishing sector be excluded, even because it seeks for all the UK to remain within the customs territory if the backstop is required after the transition interval, on the finish of 2020.

EU member states with massive fishing industries have protested they have to nonetheless have entry to British waters, in return for the UK having fun with tariff-free entry to EU markets, the place it exports 75 per cent of its complete catch.

The backstop would additionally require the UK to retain Brussels competitors, state assist and tax guidelines, successfully staying within the EU single market, say Brexiteers.

It was additionally reported that the ambassadors have instructed the European Fee they have to scrutinise any deal reached earlier than it’s made public and a particular summit referred to as.

If the member states insist on a number of days to undergo the textual content, that would seem to kill off a summit this month – 25 November having been put ahead because the final attainable date.

The EU has stated it requires near a fortnight for its capitals to organize, though Downing Road has instructed every week ought to be enough.


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