Europe Offers Britain an Olive Branch to Break Brexit Impasse


Earlier, Simon Coveney confirmed the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier was prepared to extend the 21-month transition period after Britain leaves the bloc to allow time to negotiate an alternative arrangement.

Both sides are coming under pressure from business to reach agreement soon to avoid firms running up needless costs.

President of the European Council Donald Tusk has previously indicated that if May and Barnier do not make significant progress towards a draft deal he will not call the planned November summit.

"We want to secure a deal as quickly as possible".

"But I did not perceive anything substantially new in terms of content", he said. I was listening to Mrs May. "The tone was of someone who wants to reach an agreement". "[But] there is no change in content", he said.

Mrs May, meanwhile, has said her Chequers plan is the only option, threatening a general election if it fails and claiming "no deal" is better than a Canada-style deal. Many of them suspect the British leader is pursuing a strategy of delay created to push negotiations to the brink, at which point Europe would yield and the hardcore Brexiteers in the British Parliament would be hard-pressed not to accept May's version of withdrawal, even if they despise it as a capitulation.

Britain and the European Union say they are hopeful of progress in the next few weeks, pushing the timeline for a deal into November, or even December, when another European Union summit is scheduled.

In a speech to the German parliament before travelling to Brussels, Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the possibility of a Brexit deal was "still there", but added that Berlin was making plans for a no-deal withdrawal. "For a breakthrough we need new facts".

At present the two sides are proposing that Britain remains inside the European Union single market and is still bound by its rules from the time it leaves the bloc in March until December 2020, to give time for new trade relations to be set up. Part of the reason the government proposed the original transition period...

Hurricane Michael kills 17 in US
The number of fatalities could rise into the double digits in Panama City and surrounding communities alone, Collier said. Consumer prices may be affected, too, as shipping goods into and out of the region is becoming more expensive.

The EU has said that a temporary option defeats the point of a having the insurance policy in the first place.

He said he had no difficulty in telling them what had happened, but that he is "particularly concerned" about looking back at the Troubles.

Reports from Brussels suggested senior European Commission officials were casting doubt on the prospect of a special Brexit summit being declared for November if there is no movement on the key issue of the Irish border.

The impasse in talks remains the Irish border backstop.

"I believe a deal is achievable and now is the time to make it happen", said the prime minister as she arrived at a meeting of European Union leaders in Brussels. Brexit must be orderly for everyone and for all the issues including the island of Ireland.

Underscoring the newfound sense of non-urgency, Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz of Austria, which holds the rotating European Union presidency, even spoke of the "coming weeks and months" to get a deal and sought to impose a soothing calm.

It was hoped that today's meeting would be a prelude to discussing a deal ready for finalisation in November.

She is hemmed in by pro-Brexit members of her Conservative Party, who oppose any more compromises with the bloc, and by her parliamentary allies in Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, who insist a solution to the border issue can't include customs checks between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom. So that means today on the table we have only statements about Brexit but not negotiations about Brexit. And now, just days before the deadline, they are still bickering amongst themselves.

Nigel Farage was broadcasting from the EU Parliament in Brussels. Emmanuel Macron, the French president, said the need for progress was "urgent". "We all have to move together".