Wednesday, 23 October, 2019

May under pressure over Brexit rifts as European Union summit looms

Theresa May British Prime Minister Theresa May. Getty
Patty Aguilar | 02 July, 2018, 12:32

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".

Showing apparent dissatisfaction with the current negotiation, Tusk quickly ended the already brief-enough comment with a clear warning for British Prime Minister Theresa May's cabinet: "This is the last call to lay the cards on the table".

Details of the White Paper are expected to be agreed by Cabinet ministers at next Friday's Chequers away day.

On the Irish border, the spokeswoman added: "We have never said anything other than it's very challenging. Depending how realistic and compatible they are with the rules we have set from the beginning, we will see how we can move forward".

The prime minister has rejected the EU's plan for preventing a hard border on the island of Ireland, in the event it is not avoided in the terms of a future EU-UK relationship, while the bloc has responded coolly to the prime minister's recent counter-offer.

May met leaders of the bloc at a summit focusing on the migration crisis, with an agreement finally reached on that in the early hours of this morning.

Because they know what she knows - that the past 24 hours of Brexit conversations are not almost as important as the next seven days of discussions at home between Number 10 and the rest of the government.

May told leaders on Thursday: "Our collective ability to map terrorist networks across Europe and bring those responsible to justice would be reduced".

EU-27 leaders attended a Brussels meeting of the European Council on Brexit on Friday after the departure of the British Prime Minister.

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Bones said his department had never dealt with an attack of this magnitude. "The age range of the victims varies dramatically. He allegedly stormed a three-year-old's birthday party and began to slash wildly - injuring six youngsters and three adults.

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After both teams converted their first two PKs, Russia took the lead in the third round when Igor Akinfeev stopped Koke's attempt. After the match, hero-goalkeeper Akinfeev said Russia's game plan all along had been to hold on for a penalty shootout.

Barnier added that the European Union wants and "ambitious partnership" with Britain on trade and security after it leaves the bloc next year but one based on the EU's values.

"We have made progress but huge and serious divergences remain on Ireland".

Confirmation that a deal had been reached only came shortly after 4.30am local time when Mr Tusk tweeted conclusions had been agreed. "We want a deal and are working for a deal, but time is short", he said.

The EU27 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" - a provision thought to have been inserted at the insistence of Spain.

In the remaining 27 European Union member states' joint conclusions on Brexit, agreed in Mrs May's absence on Friday morning, the bloc expressed its concern that "no substantial progress" has yet been achieved on a backstop solution for the Irish border.

The summit's conclusions also underlined the leaders' concerns "that no substantial progress has yet been achieved on agreeing a backstop solution for Ireland/Northern Ireland" but they again held out the possibility of flexibility if "the United Kingdom positions were to evolve".

In its statement, the European Union called for "intensified efforts" to get a deal, and said member states, European Union institutions and businesses should "step up their work on preparedness at all levels and for all outcomes".

Mr Varadkar said: "Time is running out for the Withdrawal Agreement to be concluded satisfactorily by the October European Council".

The issue has assumed greater political significance in Europe because of the threat to Mrs Merkel's position over her approach to letting migrants settle in her country.

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