Brexit deal expected by November - Juncker

06 October, 2018, 18:56 | Author: Brooke Harris
  • Palgrave Macmillan

Foreign office minister Alan Duncan supported Juncker's assessment, suggesting a deal would be in place before the end of the year.

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney has also said that a catastrophic "no-deal crashout" by the United Kingdom next March was not now likely and compromise can be achieved.

But there is still no agreement on some issues, including how to avoid new checks on the Irish border.

Officials in Brussels expect a fresh proposal from Britain on the Irish Border after an earlier London paper was rejected by European Union leaders. "But our will to reach an understanding with the British government is unbroken", Juncker was quoted as saying by Der Standard and Kurier and Der Falter.

The head of the European Commission has said the chances of a Brexit deal have increased in recent days.

A senior Whitehall source said: "This is gamesmanship by the EU".

Following Friday's news, sterling rose to a 10-week high of 88.19 pence against the euro.

"Although, if we have learned anything from Brexit it's that the timetable is incredibly flexible, to use diplomatic language", he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

Tory Brexiteers - who say Chequers would keep Britain too closely tied to the European Union after it has left the bloc - warmly welcomed Mr Tusk's comments saying they showed another deal was possible.

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The engagements come two weeks ahead of the crunch European Council summit in Brussels and amid ongoing uncertainty over whether a Brexit deal can be struck.

In Brussels, EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier stressed the need for a deal on the Border which did not disrupt the EU single market.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Any Questions, Sir Alan Duncan was also optimistic about the prospects of a deal.

Mr Tusk said the European Union remained "united behind Ireland" and the need to "preserve the Northern Ireland peace process".

Currently, thousands of people cross the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland every day.

For the other type of checks, the regulatory ones, Britain would agree to simplified, light controls on goods going from the British mainland to Northern Ireland that would be carried out away from the actual border as much as possible, according to European Union sources describing the emerging proposal.

Britain wants to regulate the border through a broad agreement on post-Brexit trade ties with the EU.

But in the event that no deal is reached by the Brexit deadline, both sides agree there needs to be a "backstop" solution - which means a last resort plan - that would keep the Irish border open.



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