LONDON (Reuters) – Britain wants extra time to determine an answer on the post-Brexit Irish border and won’t settle for a deal at any price from Brussels, Prime Minister Theresa May informed her cupboard on Tuesday.
FILE PHOTO – An anti-Brexit demonstrator waves flags exterior the Houses of Parliament, in London, Britain, September 10, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Up in opposition to a ticking clock to get an in depth plan in place earlier than Britain leaves the EU in March, May is battling to discover a option to meet the customarily contradictory calls for from Brussels and rival factions inside her personal celebration.
The prospect of failure has monetary markets on edge, with sterling merchants GBP= expecting any indicators of progress at an everyday assembly between May and her senior ministers on Tuesday.
But May informed her cupboard that extra time was wanted to clear the ultimate hurdle standing between her and a deal on the phrases of Britain’s withdrawal: the plan to make sure no onerous border emerges between Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland after Brexit.
“(May) said that while 95 percent of the withdrawal agreement had been concluded, on the Northern Ireland backstop there are a number of issues that we still need to work through and these are the most difficult,” her spokesman informed reporters.
Cabinet thought of choices put ahead by May’s lawyer common on methods to provide the EU an assurance that if talks on a everlasting resolution to the Irish border fail, a so-called backstop settlement would kick in.
The spokesman mentioned: “This includes ensuring that if the backstop is ever needed it is not permanent, and there is a mechanism to ensure the UK could not be held in the arrangement indefinitely.”
No selections had been taken at cupboard and extra work wanted to be completed on the British aspect, he mentioned.
That leaves solely a slim probability that an settlement between British and EU negotiators will be reached in time to carry a summit of leaders in November to log off the settlement.
A British official talking on the situation of anonymity mentioned a November summit had begun to appear to be “a stretch”.
Nevertheless, in keeping with her spokesman, May opened the assembly by saying that whereas the UK ought to intention to conclude the withdrawal settlement as quickly as doable, this might “not be done at any cost.”
The spokesman additionally cautioned that an general deal was made up of two elements: a withdrawal settlement, and a framework for future ties. Progress on the Irish backstop may seal the withdrawal settlement, however a deal wouldn’t have been accomplished till all particulars of the longer term framework had been additionally tied up.
Reporting by William James, writing by Elizabeth Piper, Editing by Kylie MacLellan