May under pressure to break Brexit deadlock07/12/17Government
PM Theresa May is under increasing pressure as Michel Barnier, EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, tells member states the UK government must agree a deal on the Irish border by Friday (8 December).
Barnier has told member states that the UK has just 48 hours to agree a text on a potential deal or it will be told that negotiations will not move on to the next stage.
The EU’s negotiator informed EU ambassadors that a potential solution was being worked out that could possibly satisfy both Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party and the Republic of Ireland, but it had yet to be signed off by any of those involved.
The DUP says there is “work to be done” if it is to agree to plan for the future of the border with Ireland, however, Ireland Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said he was willing to consider new proposals and suggested the UK might put something forward soon.
Another meeting of diplomats of the 27 member states has been planned for Friday evening, should an agreement be made with the DUP on a solution to avoid a so-called ‘hard border’ on the island.
If the UK fails to agree a joint position with the European Commission by Friday, the leaders would once again rule that insufficient progress had been made on the opening issues of citizens’ rights, the financial settlement and the Irish border for talks on trade and a transition period to start.