Irish foreign minister says Brexit border breakthrough possible on Monday

Ceria Alfonso
Diciembre 7, 2017

In Germany, Stefanie Bolzen and Hannelore Crolly of the centre-right Die Welt say events have "taken a unsafe turn" for Mrs May, despite EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker's insistence that the talks were "not a failure".

UK Prime Minister Theresa May is having a very bad day. May portrays Monday's meeting as part of preparations for an European Union summit on December 15 - though the European Union says Monday is the last chance for her to make offers as there will be no negotiations at the summit itself.

Following the meeting, Belgian MEP Philippe Lamberts, a member of the Brexit taskforce who was in the room, also told Sky News that the UK Government had agreed to a "special situation for Northern Ireland".

The EU is in despair over Theresa May's failure to agree on a Brexit divorce agreement, with there being less than a week left to salvage a deal. The PM will meet European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels, with Downing Street saying "plenty of discussions" lie ahead.

The same paper's Fintan O'Toole tells supporters of leaving the EU without an agreement that the latest crisis shows the "unflinching support of EU member states, the European Parliament, and the EU negotiating team" has put Ireland in a "much stronger political position than Britain".

So where does that leave us just over a week from the European Union summit on 14-15 December at which the EU27 are to decide whether or not sufficient progress has been made to move on to talks about a transition period and future trade?

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Since the referendum in 2016, high-profile opponents of Brexit have suggested Britain could change its mind and avoid what they say will be a disaster for its economy. While the parties failed to agree on the most important points of agreement, among which the border regime between Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland.

On Monday morning, the scene was set for a deal; the big three issues - the Brexit bill, European Union citizens' rights, and the Irish border problem - were solved.

Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party-which has held the balance of power in the British parliament since May's disastrous showing in elections earlier this year-said they rejected the deal despite a desperate telephone call from the British premier. "Pending the goodwill of the Prime Ministers of Ireland and the United Kingdom we can get a deal today".

The lack of progress so far has raised concerns that Britain may not have a deal by the time it officially leaves on March 29, 2019, and heightened fears that May's government could collapse.

"I'm not a fan of economic models because they have all proven wrong", Davis said.

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