European Union leaders demand clarity and realistic proposals from May on Brexit

02 July, 2018, 12:31 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Tony Blair will use a major speech to hit out at both the Tories and Jeremy Corbyn's Labour

Mr Varadkar's views have been echoed by Danish prime minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen, who told his parliament in Copenhagen: "It is worrying, given that it is now two years since we had a British referendum".

"This is the last call to lay the cards on the table", Tusk said, of the EU's call for a workable plan.

May is planning talks with her Cabinet at her countryside retreat on July 6 to thrash out an agreed vision, with the details to be published the following week.

Of the white paper, Barnier said: "I hope it will contain workable and realistic proposals".

The EU Withdrawal Bill officially became law on Tuesday but a withdrawal agreement remains under negotiation in Brussels. "Depending how realistic and compatible they are with the rules we have set from the beginning, we will see how we can move forward".

Mrs May's participation in the European Council summit ended in the early hours of Friday morning after a marathon session on proposals to address the migrant crisis. May is still struggling to get her warring Cabinet to agree on what Brexit should mean in practice, and her attempts so far to find something that's acceptable to all have been quickly rejected by the European Union side.

Without a deal "we would no longer be able to share real-time alerts for wanted persons, including serious criminals" and "our collective ability to map terrorist networks across Europe and bring those responsible to justice would be reduced", she told her counterparts.

Mrs May has now left the EU Summit earlier than the other 27 leaders so they can discuss Brexit and other issues relating to the EU's future plans.

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Barnier said today that the "respect of the fundamental rights of European Union citizens" was "key for our future co-operation on security".

Chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier today said there remained "huge and serious" gaps between the two sides, particularly over the Irish border.

Confirmation that a deal had been reached only came shortly after 4.30am local time when Mr Tusk tweeted conclusions had been agreed. If you want to reach a deal in October we need quick progress.

European leaders at the summit welcomed progress on the legal text of the withdrawal agreement but noted that "important aspects still need to be agreed" including the territorial application of the deal "notably as regards Gibraltar".

In their summit conclusions, the other 27 leaders expressed "concern that no substantial progress has yet been achieved" on the Irish issue. The Irish Prime minister said "it is frustrating two years after the referendum that we still don't have a white paper (a policy proposal) from the United Kingdom government" regarding the future relationship between the two camps, according to Sky News.

It also urged EU members to prepare for a "no deal" scenario, saying: "The European council renews its call upon member states, union institutions and all stakeholders to step up their work on preparedness at all levels and for all outcomes".

The prime minister used the time she was allowed at the summit's working dinner on Thursday, before talks turned to migration, to make a plea to European Union leaders to consider the safety of their citizens amid intransigence by Brussels officials on future security co-operation.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the British had to "make clear their position" adding: "We can not go on to live with a split cabinet".


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