Britain’s May appeals to EU leaders but no sign of Brexit deal

Britain’s May appeals to EU leaders but no sign of Brexit deal


SALZBURG, Austria (Reuters) – Prime Minister Theresa Might appealed on to fellow European Union leaders on Wednesday to drop “unacceptable” Brexit calls for that she stated might rip Britain aside, urging the bloc to reply in type to her “critical and workable” plan.

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa Might talks to the media as she arrives for the casual assembly of European Union leaders forward of the EU summit, in Salzburg, Austria, September 19, 2018. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

They listened politely for a couple of minutes however stated afterwards that a stalemate on the Irish border was unbroken — although some EU diplomats detected a cracking of ice across the spectacular summit dinner desk, laid within the Salzburg theater used to movie a dramatic escape finale within the movie “The Sound of Music”.

Earlier, EU officers insisted Might needed to give extra floor.

After Wiener schnitzel and 4 hours of wrangling over Europe’s migrant drawback, Might was given the ground and tried to win over her 27 friends by successfully asking them what they might do in the event that they had been requested to agree a “authorized separation” of their nations — one thing she says the EU is asking for by insisting Northern Eire would possibly keep below EU financial guidelines.

Sustaining a united entrance that refuses to let Might bypass the negotiations run by Michel Barnier of the European Fee, they didn’t reply to her. They are going to talk about the difficulty amongst themselves over lunch on Thursday, setting what Barnier hopes is usually a path to a last deal in two months.

“I imagine that I’ve put ahead critical and workable proposals,” Might instructed the summit, based on a senior British authorities supply. “We are going to after all not agree on each element, however I hope that you’ll reply in type.

“The onus is now on all of us to get this deal performed.”

For now, nonetheless, with Should still going through criticism of her “gentle Brexit” method at her Conservative Celebration convention in 10 days, there was little signal of both aspect giving manner.

“At this stage, it’s a standstill. There isn’t any progress,” Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite instructed Reuters after the dinner. Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini added: “On the border problem, there was no progress.”

“It was well mannered,” stated a senior EU diplomat. “They’re attempting to be good to her and there might be good phrases tomorrow.”

A second stated Might gave the impression to be edging towards compromise, providing new proposals on how one can keep away from differing financial rules disrupting commerce and talking of a “center manner”: “She spoke. There was no response. ‘Thanks’ and we moved on.”

With barely six months till Britain leaves the bloc, on the danger of great disruption if there isn’t any deal to tie up authorized free ends, there may be strain on either side: “You may hear very clearly the clock ticking within the room,” stated the second diplomat. “And that’s beginning to have a psychological impact.”

EU officers once more stated Britain needed to transfer its personal place over what has change into generally known as the Irish backstop – how one can keep away from erecting border posts between the British province and EU member Eire – in addition to on future financial cooperation after Brexit day in March.

A authorities supply steered Britain would provide you with different proposals to attempt to attain settlement on Northern Eire “in the end”, however Might has up to now been reluctant to maneuver from her Chequers plan, hashed out at her nation residence in July.


The talks, which have gone on for over a 12 months, are slowed down in how to make sure that what’s going to change into Britain’s solely land border with the EU, between Northern Eire and Eire, won’t change into residence once more to the checks and tensions of the previous.

Might has rejected an EU proposal to maintain the province in a customs union with the bloc in the event that they fail to succeed in a deal to maintain your entire EU-UK border open, as a substitute providing a time-limited customs association that may cowl the entire of Britain.

Over dinner, she stated the issue could possibly be solved by securing the kind of “frictionless commerce” envisaged in her Chequers plan, and that Britain was nonetheless dedicated to agreeing a fall-back scheme with the EU.

“Nevertheless, the Fee’s proposal for this protocol – that I ought to assent to a authorized separation of the UK into two customs territories – isn’t credible,” she stated.

Might is eager to point out hardline Brexiters, who might be out in power on the celebration convention and who’ve referred to as on her to “chuck Chequers”, that her plan is the one one that may be negotiated with the EU.

And, probably for that home viewers, she instructed the EU leaders that though time was brief, “delaying or extending these negotiations isn’t an possibility” and rule out the choice of a second referendum on Britain’s EU membership.


Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar instructed reporters earlier than the dinner that there had been no advance on the difficulty: “I don’t suppose we’re any nearer to a withdrawal settlement than we had been in March, so I can’t report any progress, sadly.”

Might will attend a morning session on Thursday to debate safety, the place she’s going to increase the poisoning of a former Russian spy. She will even have a face-to-face assembly with Varadkar.

She’s going to then be out of the room when the opposite 27 leaders talk about her Brexit proposals over lunch, and can discover out about their reactions solely when summit chair Donald Tusk briefs her individually afterwards.

However the senior British supply stated Britain believed momentum was rising for a deal, noting Tusk’s plan to convene a particular summit in mid-November to ink a hoped-for treaty.

“I feel this alerts that very critical discussions are actually happening,” the supply stated. “We’re assured of getting a deal.”

Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska, Elizabeth Piper and Francois Murphy; Further reporting by Alastair Macdonald; Writing by Elizabeth Piper and Alastair Macdonald; Modifying by Lisa Shumaker

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