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UK and EU negotiators must reach an agreement by Wednesday evening

Tuesday, November 13th 2018 - 07:47 UTC
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Labour's Brexit spokesman Sir Starmer has said MPs will not allow UK to leave without a negotiated accord and “technically” the whole process can be stopped Labour's Brexit spokesman Sir Starmer has said MPs will not allow UK to leave without a negotiated accord and “technically” the whole process can be stopped
European Council's president Donald Tusk has reportedly said a deal must be reached by Wednesday evening at the latest European Council's president Donald Tusk has reportedly said a deal must be reached by Wednesday evening at the latest
Michel Barnier was quoted saying that the text of an agreement was “almost ready” but hinged on whether Mrs. May could muster enough UK political support Michel Barnier was quoted saying that the text of an agreement was “almost ready” but hinged on whether Mrs. May could muster enough UK political support

UK ministers have been told “judgment day is coming” over Brexit as the UK and EU strive for a deal within 48 hours. Officials are trying to hammer out an agreement on the terms of the UK's exit by Wednesday to enable EU leaders to agree it by the end of the month.

 Downing Street said talks had gone on through the night but “substantial issues” still remained to be resolved. Amid growing pressure on the PM, one Tory said MPs will be “judged at the bar of history” if they back her plans.

Mark Francois compared Mrs. May's handling of the Brexit negotiations with the fall of Singapore to the Japanese in World War Two, complaining of “one tactical defeat after another”.

A growing number of Tory MPs are warning the prime minister that her Brexit plan will not be approved by Parliament while Labour's Brexit spokesman Sir Keir Starmer has said MPs will not allow the UK to leave without a negotiated agreement and “technically” the whole process can be stopped.

The UK is set to leave the EU on 29 March 2019. Negotiations are continuing on the so-called “divorce” agreement and an outline declaration on the two sides' future relationship. The next 48 hours are set to be critical in the process.

Both sides want to schedule a special summit of EU leaders at the end of November to sign off the withdrawal deal but the EU says it will only agree to this if agreement can be reached on the issue of the Irish border.

EU member states need time to scrutinize any agreement before the gathering and the European Council's president Donald Tusk has reportedly said a deal must be reached by Wednesday evening at the latest.

Following an update by their Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier on Monday, EU officials played down talk of a breakthrough, saying “intense negotiating efforts continue, but an agreement has not been reached yet”.

However the Financial Times reported that Mr. Barnier told EU diplomats that the text of an agreement was “almost ready” and everything hinged on whether Mrs. May could muster enough political support in the UK.

A November summit is a key staging post in trying to avoid the UK leaving without a deal. If the decision is pushed back to the next scheduled meeting in December, no-deal preparations will have to be ramped up significantly and the chances of getting it through the UK and EU parliaments will recede.

Theresa May is coming under increasing pressure from both Brexiteers and Remainers.

In his latest column for the Daily Telegraph, Boris Johnson called for a “cabinet mutiny” against the PM's proposal for the UK to sign up to EU rules in trade in goods without, he said, having any say in them.

Mr. Francois, the vice-chairman of the European Research Group of Tory MPs, said it was an open secret that five or six cabinet members were very unhappy with the PM's proposals and urged them to show “moral courage”.

 

Categories: Economy, Politics, International.

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