May welcomes Brexit transition, commerce talks loom

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Theresa May welcomed the approval by European Union leaders on Friday of a transition interval to assist business adapt after Brexit, telling the bloc to experience the “new dynamic” in upcoming commerce talks.

REFILE – CORRECTING BYLINE Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May leaves a European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium, March 23, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

Endorsing their negotiating stance for commerce talks attributable to begin subsequent month, the 27 different EU leaders at a Brussels summit confirmed a political, if not but authorized, dedication to let Britain successfully keep within the bloc – with out a vote – till the tip of 2020, or 21 months after formal Brexit subsequent March.

But the textual content carried a warning that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed” – a menace to May to keep away from “backsliding” on a deal to let Northern Ireland stay regulated by Brussels if no higher means is found to stop a “hard border” that might threat the peace.

May mentioned the deal up to now “gives certainty to people and businesses. It gives them the clarity to plan for their future.”

“I believe there is a new dynamic now in the negotiations,” she informed reporters. “We will now be sitting down and determining those workable solutions for Northern Ireland but also for our future security partnership and economic partnership.”

French President Emmanuel Macron reiterated the EU’s mantra that London wouldn’t be allowed to “cherry-pick” entry to components of the EU market: “The single market can’t be divided up.

“There just isn’t a selection of which sectors you signal as much as. Once you’re outdoors the only market, you’re outdoors of it completely,” Macron mentioned as he shared a podium with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to underline the unity of the bloc’s founders and main powerbrokers.

While grappling with Britain’s departure from the EU, different leaders’ rallied behind May in her standoff with Russia over the Salisbury assault whereas she added her voice to EU calls for on the United States that it exempt the bloc from new metal tariffs.

May mentioned the problem mattered for British steelworkers. There was a reminder of difficulties on commerce that Britain may face after Brexit when non-EU member Norway found itself excluded from the momentary exemption Trump granted to the bloc.


The transition win for May comes on the expense of getting agreed to a “backstop” answer on the Irish border that, if applied, might infuriate a lot of her political allies because it might successfully isolate the Northern Ireland economic system from mainland Britain by preserving its laws according to the EU.

Both sides say they don’t wish to return to frame checks between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland – as was the case throughout a long time of violence within the British province.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar highlighted the EU stance that the transition would solely grow to be last as a part of a broader deal between the bloc and London, which implies they have to choose all excellent points – together with the Irish border – first. He famous new talks on the border begin subsequent week.

“As Ireland … we’re not the ones who are leaving so we are not under time pressure in that regard,” Varadkar informed reporters. “If we can have an agreement on the terms of the backstop or an alternative to the backstop before June, that’s something we would very much welcome.”

The Brexit schedule assumes the bloc and London would agree on the divorce deal, the transition and a framework for future commerce in time for the 27 EU leaders to endorse it at a summit in October, and have it ratified earlier than Brexit on March 29, 2019.

The bloc’s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier informed the summit that the brand new cope with Britain “will have to respect the principles and the identity of the EU and our single market”.

Additional reporting by Alastair Macdonald and Julia Fioretti, Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg, Alastair Macdonald and Richard Balmforth

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