Varadkar says even with Brexit transition extension Irish ‘backstop’ needed

Cheryl Sanders
October 19, 2018

Mrs May faces potentially the most unsafe period of her leadership, with mutinous MPs lining up Ex-Brexit Secretary Mr Davis as her replacement, it is claimed.

"I did not perceive anything substantially new in terms of content as I listened to Mrs".

It had been reported that both he and Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson told the prime minister that they could not support any different arrangements for Northern Ireland.

The summit continues Thursday with an agenda limited to some issues both sides firmly agree on, including fighting cybercrime and dealing with an assertive Russian Federation.

If British MPs reject the plan, they might demand the government try to negotiate a new deal, but that would require more time.

According to media reports, chief EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier will propose the extension to UK Prime Minister Theresa May in exchange for her agreeing to a two-stage deal that would include a separate backstop for Northern Ireland to keep it as part of the EU customs union and single market for goods, as well as a UK-wide customs solution.

The withdrawal agreement being negotiated now includes plans for a so-called transition period after Brexit - the United Kingdom government prefers the term "implementation period" to put into place new arrangements - to run until the end of December 2020.

"We are talking in a matter of months, we are not talking in a matter of years", he said.


But she acknowledged that differences remain over the key issue of the "backstop" arrangement to keep the Irish border open in the absence of a broader trade deal. "We need time, we need much more time..."

May signaled that she was open to extending the transition period to help solve the problem of the Irish border.

Mrs May has argued the backstop should see the whole of the United Kingdom stay in a customs union with the EU on a temporary time-limited basis, after the transition period comes to an end.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says European Union leaders "deliberately" did not dwell on a "no-deal Brexit" outcome during their summit.

The proposed 12-month extension would cost billions of pounds in EU fees and leave Britain under European rules for nearly six years after the referendum result. "That would backfire spectacularly".

Diplomats say European Union negotiator Michel Barnier is willing to add a year to the already planned 21-month post Brexit transition period, when Britain's relationship with the bloc stays largely the same.

"I'm afraid she is losing the confidence now of colleagues of all shades of opinion", he said.

"Everybody around the table wants to get a deal". "We have to have a deal before".


"Mr Davis - who is admired by Labour MPs - would be the ideal MP to unite Parliament, they say".

"As long as we don't have a solution we won't be able to explain exactly how it can succeed", she said Thursday. "Please, it's a wonderful evening", she replied. "There is still time for the drama to play".

But several also noted that their countries were beginning preparations for a possible no-deal Brexit. Westminster rises on December 20 for Christmas. All of those mileposts are on the drive toward March 29, when Britain will officially exit the European Union, triggering a transition period that will last through 2020.

To the fury of hardline Brexiters in May's ruling Conservative Party, the biggest takeaway from the Brussels meeting is Britain and its negotiating partners could be heading for many months more of convoluted talks. Paris suggested Britons would need visas to travel to France in the event of a no-deal. CBC's Margaret Evans looks at what could potentially happen as Britain barrels towards Brexit. They asked her about Brexit. May's suggestion, saying it is unnecessary stonewalling and violates the spirit of Brexit.

Mr Raab noted: "Anything other than a straightforward approval of the deal will bring with it huge uncertainty for business, consumers and citizens".

Davis's allies claim he wants a change of policy rather than a change of prime minister, but one minister he spoke to has told the press they believe he is "definitely on manoeuvres". "MPs must be given the opportunity to scrutinise, consider and, where appropriate, amend any resolution the Government puts forward".

Labor's interior spokeswomen, shadow home secretary Diane Abbott, insisted Thursday that Labor would not rubber-stamp May's final Brexit plan. "The Government is trying to stop Parliament having its say".


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