British, Irish leaders talk over phone on Brexit border deal

Evarado Alatorre
Diciembre 8, 2017

Time is now running out for a deal on Brexit divorce terms, which would allow the opening of talks on a future trade deal at a summit of European Union leaders in Brussels on December 14-15.

Downing Street said Mrs May told Mr Varadkar she was "working hard to find a specific solution to the unique circumstances in Northern Ireland" and was committed to "moving together to achieve a positive result on this".

Separately, Director of the Centre for European Reform Charles Grant said he believes the recent setback on the border issue has weakened London's position and set off reverberations in Scotland, which will now seek a similar deal to Northern Ireland.

Schinas dismissed British newspaper reports that the deadline could be extended into next week as "not correct."Diplomats from the other EU 27 nations are to meet on Monday and would need to see European Council chief Donald Tusk's draft guidelines for opening the next phase of talks then in order to approve them for the summit, he said.The EU has demanded "sufficient progress" on the divorce issues of the Ireland border with Northern Ireland, Britain's bill for leaving the bloc, and the rights of European citizens in Britain in order to move on to the second stage".

"So far no white smoke".

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, the transport secretary said people had misunderstood the key term "regulatory alignment" which has been the focus of the debate.

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"In Northern Ireland we guarantee there will be no hard border", May told a press conference with Juncker.

The intense time pressure on the PM to get European Union agreement to move to trade talks will only grow with the Council summit looming large and the risk of trade talks being delayed until well into the New Year.

This followed Eurosceptic MPs urging her to lay down new red lines before agreeing to hand over any money.

Phase two of the Brexit talks will focus on the transitional arrangements that will kick in after the UK formally leaves the EU in 2019 and the future EU-UK trading relationship.

The Government continues to insist it will not change the substance of what it says was agreed with the British government on Brexit earlier this week.

"We didn't discuss the detail of any new language".

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