SALZBURG, Austria (Reuters) – European Union leaders will push for a Brexit deal subsequent month however warned Prime Minister Theresa Might on Thursday that if she is not going to give floor on commerce and the Irish border by November they’re prepared to deal with Britain crashing out.
“Don’t fear, be glad,” joked EU chief government Jean-Claude Juncker after telling reporters after a summit in Austria that the Europeans had full plans in place within the occasion there was no deal earlier than Britain leaves subsequent March.
Might promised new proposals to reassure Dublin that it could not get a “laborious border” with the British province of Northern Eire however warned she too may dwell with a no-deal final result — although many around the summit desk in picturesque Salzburg see that as extra of a negotiating tactic than a reputable menace.
She mentioned her “Chequers” proposals for commerce with the EU, supposed additionally to resolve arguments over the borders of Northern Eire, have been the one means ahead. EU leaders repeated their view the plans would undermine their cherished single market.
However leaders additionally tried to place a optimistic spin on their 24 hours of talks. Summit chair Donald Tusk mentioned he was extra optimistic about getting agreements each to ease Britain out gently and to sketch out a future free commerce pact.
Tusk mentioned a Brussels summit on Oct. 18 can be a “second of reality” to beat remaining huge issues and leaders pencilled within the weekend of Nov. 17-18 to formalise a last settlement.
However Might and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have been amongst those that harassed there was nonetheless “quite a lot of work” to do.
Might faces a combat with offended Conservatives at her social gathering’s convention in 10 days. They deride her willingness to bind Britain into a lot EU regulation in return free of charge commerce; some would like a no-deal “laborious Brexit” in March, regardless of warnings that will ravage the British financial system.
EU leaders perceive that she may give little away earlier than the convention ends on Oct. three. However they hope their negotiator, Michel Barnier, can safe her settlement subsequent month to what might be new EU proposals. These might be basically unchanged however could also be politically extra palatable, notably on Northern Eire.
“Ritual dance is all the time part of such negotiations,” a senior adviser to one among Might’s summit friends informed Reuters.
“It might be that they may simply settle for what we’ve proposed after the Tory convention.”
MERKEL, MACRON SCEPTICAL
Whether or not it may be executed by mid-November, many doubt. Brussels is conversant in the theatre of diplomacy, the place being seen to carry out to the bitter finish may also help promote the unpopular again dwelling and a few diplomats consider a deal may take till Christmas.
Any later, and there can be a danger of failing to get it ratified by each parliaments earlier than Brexit Day on March 29.
“It was clear right this moment that we’d like substantial progress by October and that we then intention to finalise all the things in November,” Merkel mentioned. “However there may be nonetheless quite a lot of work to do on the query of how future commerce relations will look.”
“You’ll be able to’t belong to the only market in case you are not a part of the only market, however you possibly can develop quite a lot of creativity to search out sensible, good, shut options.”
French President Emmanuel Macron rammed dwelling the message: “It was a very good and courageous step by the prime minister,” he mentioned of her commerce plan. “However all of us agreed on this right this moment, the proposals of their present state usually are not acceptable.
“The Chequers plan can’t be ‘take it or depart it’.”
The EU additionally insists on a “backstop” clause in any withdrawal treaty. This may hold Northern Eire underneath EU financial oversight if London and Brussels can’t agree a commerce pact to maintain UK-EU borders open after a transition interval ends in 2020 — an concept that Might and a small social gathering within the province that props up her minority authorities oppose.
“We have to be certain that nothing is finished which successfully carves Northern Eire away from the remainder of the UK,” Might informed reporters after Tusk had briefed her on the discussions the opposite 27 had on Brexit over lunch.
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar mentioned there was no likelihood the EU would compromise on its calls for and rejected hypothesis the opposite nations can be tempted to fudge the Irish challenge till later. However he additionally mentioned he thought there can be a deal.
Extra reporting by Alastair Macdonald; Writing by Alastair Macdonald; modifying by Richard Balmforth