EU leaders put together hardball Brexit summit for May

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders will give British Prime Minister Theresa May a tricky reception in Brussels on Wednesday, warning her to rally help at home for the Brexit deal on supply or be reduce unfastened with out one in March.

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May talks to workers at WPP who have come by micro fellowships and apprenticeships, after a roundtable assembly with business leaders whose corporations are inaugural signatories of the Race at Work Charter, on the Southbank Centre in London, Britain, October 11, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

May will handle the opposite 27 EU nationwide leaders at a summit earlier than they dine with out her. Officials mentioned they anticipated the leaders to inform May they have little extra to supply since talks stalled on Sunday and can step up preparations for Britain to drop out of the bloc with no deal.

Summit chair Donald Tusk mentioned the danger of a “no deal” taking Britain out of the bloc and into authorized limbo and border chaos on March 29 was higher than ever.

He put the onus on May to carry a “creative” answer to interrupt the deadlock over the EU-UK land border on the island of Ireland.

The “no deal” message is honest sufficient. It can be a tactic to strain a negotiating accomplice the EU views as weak. And it would assist May by giving her the type of political theatre helpful in persuading Britons she has fought for the perfect deal.

More subtly, leaders might also sound relaxed on the calendar for talks. On Tuesday, officers echoed the mantra that “the clock is ticking” to agree a treaty that parliaments can ratify in time for Brexit. But, sensing extra urgency in London, senior EU officers mentioned Brussels would “keep calm and carry on”.

The bloc’s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier instructed ministers from the remaining 27 member states on Tuesday that December was “the ultimate deadline” for a take care of London to present each the European and UK parliaments time for ratification.

EU leaders assembly in Brussels on Wednesday should not anticipated to firmly decide to an additional Brexit summit in November, which that they had earlier pencilled in case of an October breakthrough.


But a summit subsequent month may very well be referred to as at brief discover if there may be strong progress in negotiations between Brussels and London, diplomats and officers mentioned, which the bloc doesn’t anticipate earlier than May will get her price range adopted in early November.

“If we have a deal on the withdrawal agreement, it will be November… or early December,” Philippe Lamberts, an EU lawmaker coping with Brexit mentioned on Wednesday. “I do not expect the transition to end at the end of 2020.”

“The transition period postpones the moment when the backstop will kick in.”

After an intense week of talks, London on Sunday walked away from a deal wherein the EU supplied to increase the post-Brexit transition by a 12 months till the top of 2021 in a method to make the emergency repair for the Irish border extra palatable to Britain.

This “two-tier backstop” would hold Britain within the EU’s single market and customs union for longer, giving sides extra time to work out a brand new commerce deal that will keep an open Irish border from then on.

The EU insists on ensures that intensive border checks wouldn’t return on the island of Ireland no matter how Brexit goes, one thing London is discovering troublesome to simply accept as it could embrace some commerce obstacles rising contained in the UK.

Germany’s Europe minister referred to as on May to “take responsibility and be constructive”.

Tusk mentioned EU leaders would wish to consider deal is almost carried out to carry a Brexit summit in November.

“There needs to be a much clearer, sharper messaging on the choice the UK faces,” one senior diplomat instructed fellow nationwide envoys after talks broke down on Sunday. The EU had gone so far as it may to deal with May’s difficulties together with her hardline pro-Brexit and Northern Irish allies, he mentioned.

Quite how powerful the EU message is to May after Wednesday’s dinner will rely upon her method, diplomats mentioned. If she brings to Brussels the uncompromising tone they heard a month in the past in Salzburg, then the EU warnings of impending calamity will step up.

EU chief govt Jean-Claude Juncker will inform leaders after May has spoken on Wednesday about his European Commission’s plans for a “no deal”. Officials say that can embrace methods to rush by emergency EU laws to deal with large disruption to move and commerce hyperlinks.

Additonal reporting by Daphne Psaledakis; Editing by Janet Lawrence

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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