The EU Is Looking to 2018 for a Brexit Breakthrough

Wednesday, 15 November 2017, 01:52:20 PM. European officials have identified summits early next year where they could seek a breakthrough in Brexit talks, as the European side is bracing for a crunch meeting in December to end in failure, three people familiar with the negotiations said.
European officials have identified summits early next year where they could seek a breakthrough in Brexit talks, as the European side is bracing for a crunch meeting in December to end in failure, three people familiar with the negotiations said. The view in Brussels is that it’s up to the U.K. to make concessions before the EU will agree to move talks on to the trade deal that Britain wants. If it hasn’t done that by December, the EU will wait rather than force the issue or move to a Plan B, the people said. A summit in January or February could provide a second chance, they said. Negotiations are deadlocked, with the British government so far refusing to meet the bloc’s demand that it commit to meeting financial liabilities of about 60 billion euros ($71 billion) and spell out how it proposes to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland. The U.K.’s Conservative government -- constrained by divisions in its party and Parliament -- says it has made concessions already and it’s now up to the EU to show some flexibility. Delaying a decision beyond December would make the Brexit negotiations even trickier for Prime Minister Theresa May, who at the same time is battling rebels at home on both sides of the EU debate. Britain is due to leave in March 2019, with or without a deal. Businesses say they will start enacting worst-case scenario plans if there’s no agreement early next year on the transition arrangement that May hopes will smooth the exit process. Discussions on...Read more
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