Published: Fri, October 11, 2019
Economy | By

Brexit: EU, UK revive hopes for deal after 'constructive' meeting

Brexit: EU, UK revive hopes for deal after 'constructive' meeting

EU Council President Donald Tusk said he has "received promising signals" from Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar that a Brexit deal is still possible, so he has extended a deadline to continue the Brexit talks.

With the British Parliament and government both rejecting the withdrawal treaty negotiated by Theresa May, and the European Union rejecting a rehash of the treaty with some alternative arrangements for the customs border between EU member-state the Republic of Ireland and the British province of Northern Ireland put forward by Boris Johnson, the United Kingdom is now headed for a clean break with the bloc - or, if anti-Brexit MPs have their way, yet another Brexit delay. The leaders of Britain and Ireland said they spotted a "pathway" to an elusive Brexit deal as hopes for a breakthrough dimmed before the U.K.'s October 31 deadline to leave the European Union.

Shares have been boosted by the market view that an agreed Brexit is now in propspect following talks on Thursday between Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The Houses of parliament are undergoing restoration works.

Britain's Northern Ireland minister said that no single party in Northern Ireland would be given a veto in any Brexit deal, but that an agreement was now "a distinct possibility". "It has taken one year, even three years, and we don't really get it", she said.

Barnier cautioned the public "be patient" after the Friday breakfast meeting before he went to brief 27 European Union member states on the talks. Negotiations are underway, with apparent goodwill on both sides.

But he added: "At the very end this is a British responsibility" on whether it leaves the European Union with or without a deal or even cancels the Brexit process outright.

But all eyes turned to a breakfast meeting in Brussels on Friday morning between British Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay and the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

The leaders gave few details of the meeting but in a brief exchange with reporters, Varadkar described the mood as "positive".

The main stumbling block remains how to handle the U.K.'s only land border with the European Union, which is on the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.

France has also long said that deadlines can not be extended forever, since Britain was originally slated to leave the bloc on March 31.

The report was the second time Mr Smith was rumoured to be considering quitting in as many months. If it is time for the sake of time? "If there is a will, there is a way" she said.

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