Monday, 22 October, 2018

Juncker optimistic about Brexit deal as European Union summit looms

News Image New British proposal for Irish border ‘step in right direction’: EU source
Ellis Copeland | 08 October, 2018, 15:17

Asked if an exit from Brexit was still possible, Mr Juncker said: "That is in the discretion of the British Parliament and the Government".

He and Varadkar, he said, had "focused on practical and realistic ways of minimising the damage caused by Brexit, on both sides of the channel". Should they fail, London faces crashing out of the bloc next March with little to replace four decades of closest cooperation from trade to security to air traffic.

And in a remark that was welcomed by some Eurosceptics who want to scrap Mrs May's proposed trade plans, he said the European Union remained open to a "Canada plus plus plus" deal - a reference to the EU's free trade deal with Canada.

The British Government is expected to table new proposals in a bid to break the Irish border impasse, but a role for the devolved Assembly has been speculated.

The Prime Minister accused the European Union of treating the United Kingdom with a lack of "respect" after an European Union summit in Austria last month, when Mr Tusk slammed her Chequers Brexit plan and mocked her on social media for "cherry picking".

"Somehow everything seems to be rather deadlocked at the moment, and as a result the downside risks for sterling remain in place", Commerzbank analysts said in a note to clients.

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"The European Union is about freedom and human rights, prosperity and peace, life without fear, it is about democracy and pluralism - a continent without internal borders and walls". I hope that it will be possible to avoid major losses on both sides, ' he said on the sidelines of a conference in Krakow, Poland.

The UK is set to leave the European Union on 29 March 2019. The Soviet spirit is still alive, as demonstrated by the attack in Salisbury. And I am sure you will also remember who was the first to declare full solidarity with the United Kingdom at that critical moment. Today, the Dutch and United Kingdom governments informed about a cyber attack against the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in the Hague, which was carried out by Kremlin intelligence services.

Mr Juncker told reporters in Austria that the current holder of the rolling presidency of the European council that recent days had provided some cause for optimism in the talks.

Knowing the limited appetite of a British, particularly an English audience for discussion of Northern Ireland, the London media generally defer to politicians on the subject and scurry on to other topics.

But officials have been meeting behind the scenes before a key summit in Brussels on October 17 and 18.

"I don't know what Canada-plus-plus-plus means, it is just a concept at this stage", Varadkar said, adding that it did not negate the need for a "legally binding backstop" - a guarantee to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland if there is no agreement on the future trading relationship. "In fact, it has been overshadowed by a report from the FT which suggests that Ireland is backing PM May’s emerging plan for an all-UK customs union with the EU", MUFG analysts said in a note.

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