Brexit border agreement reached between Ireland and UK
05 December, 2017, 01:53 | Author: Dustin Murphy
Officials said he was preparing to call round European Union leaders to get agreement on trade negotiations. Member countries must decide whether to broaden the talks to the topic of future relations.
Most EU leaders meeting this weekend at a gathering of left-wing prime ministers in Lisbon, Portugal were planning for "sufficient progress" to be achieved by the time of the European Council summit on 14 and 15 December.
The border issue remained the main sticking point.
"I am surprised and disappointed that the British government now appears not to be in a position to conclude what was agreed earlier today", Varadkar said at a press conference in Dublin. The legislature, which must approve any withdrawal treaty if a disruptive Brexit is to be avoided in March 2019, has demanded that European Union courts have the final say in guaranteeing rights for 3 million European Union citizens in Britain.
"It was not possible to reach complete agreement today", he said.
Mr Juncker insisted that a deal could still be reached this week, having described Mrs May as a "tough negotiator".
She said: "There are a couple of issues, some differences do remain which require further negotiation and consultation".
The EU has demanded "sufficient progress" on key withdrawal issues - the UK's exit payment, citizens' rights and Irish border - before the second phase can start.
He added: "The indications we have is that we are in a much better place now than we have been in the negotiations to date".
Negotiators were discussing an agreement that would commit Britain to maintaining "regulatory alignment" between Northern Ireland and Ireland after Brexit.
However, unionists tend to view with scepticism any proposal for harmonisation of rules on either side of the border.
Irish and European Union officials indicated that agreement was close.
May depends in parliament on a pro-British party in Northern Ireland that rejects any deal which would divide the province from the British mainland.
Ms Foster had issued a statement warning it would not accept "any form of regulatory divergence which separates Northern Ireland economically or politically from the rest of the UK". "The economic and constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom must not be compromised in any way".
But that task has been complicated by the DUP's show of strength, the publication of the sensitive wording from the draft negotiating text and Leo Varadkar's public insistence that the British government had signed up to a formula which the DUP found so hard to swallow.
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