March 24, 2018

Business leaders welcome agreement on Brexit trade talks

08 December 2017, 10:35 | Taylor George

Business leaders welcome agreement on Brexit trade talks

Business leaders welcome agreement on Brexit trade talks

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker needs to have a meeting with Theresa may, the head of the British Parliament.

May's office said she and Varadkar are "working hard to find a specific solution to the unique circumstances in Northern Ireland", which have triggered a crisis in Britain's divorce negotiations.

"While we support David Davis' ambition to secure a comprehensive agreement by 29 March 2019, nearly nobody outside the Government thinks this will be possible", Jay said.

He said that he would recommend to European Union leaders that "sufficient progress has been achieved" on the terms of the divorce to starting talking about issues like future relations and trade.

He said: "I believe that we have now made the breakthrough that we needed".

European Council President Donald Tusk revealed last night he would give a speech to media at 6:50am today but gave no indication of what he would say, beyond an update on Brexit.

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The EU has been calling for clarity on three key issues - the Irish border, a financial settlement, and the rights of EU citizens in the United Kingdom - before it agrees to start trade talks on future relations.

Mrs May has said she wants a deep and special partnership and a better deal than the free-trade agreement that Canada secured from the EU. British factions have squabbled about how to preserve the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which depends on a borderless passage between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, as Britain seeks new trade independence that would typically require a border.

To clinch a deal, though, May must ensure she has the support of the DUP, whose leader told her bluntly on Monday that it would not support her minority government's legislation unless the Irish border draft deal was changed.

"It hasn't been easy for either side", May said in an early-morning news conference in Brussels following all-night talks.

She must also convince her divided Conservative Party that the deal she makes is acceptable.

The reason for the Sunday night deadline was cited as being the need for European Union sherpas to set the agenda for the Thursday/Friday meeting of European Union leaders at which the way forward on Brexit would be discussed.

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