'Much more time' needed to reach Brexit deal - Barnier

'Much more time' needed to reach Brexit deal - Barnier

Asked for thoughts on how veterans are treated by the government, Gen Dannatt said more is being done to look after them than in the past, but this is still not enough.

It will mean the House of Commons has to abide by Brussels rules and regulations, without having any say on them. President Donald Trump has long said he wants a deal with Britain, even as it negotiates a messy European Union exit.

The impasse in talks remains the Irish border backstop.

O'Leary has said he is "hopeful and optimistic" that the issue of strikes will be resolved by Christmas. "There is still the question of the Northern Irish backstop", she told reporters on arrival.

Arriving in Brussels, German Chancellor Angela Merkel echoed the European line that "90 percent" of the withdrawal agreement was settled.

The call from European Council president Donald Tusk came as Mrs May urged her Cabinet to "stand together and stand firm" on Brexit, after negotiations stalled in the run-up to a crucial summit.

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary has said a hard Brexit could ground planes for up to three weeks as the prime minister heads to Brussels for a crunch meeting with European Union leaders to break the impasses in the negotiations.

With hopes of a November summit fading, focus has turned to the next scheduled meeting of the European Council in December as the last chance to secure a deal and get it ratified by the United Kingdom and European parliaments before Britain leaves in March 2019.

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Tusk earlier said that May should come with new concrete proposals on how to solve the Irish border conundrum, where both sides want to avoid a hard border to make sure decades of conflict between Protestant loyalists and Catholic republicans does not resurface.

May earlier told parliament in London she wanted any treaty that includes the Irish border issue linked to a separate declaration the two sides intend to issue on their intentions for a close EU-UK trade pact to be negotiated after Brexit.

"And what Michel Barnier has indicated very clearly is that the European Union side, certainly, is willing to allow more time in the transition period to agree an alternative solution to a backstop".

First, no one with any experience of worldwide trade negotiations believes that Britain and the European Union will be able to conclude the kind of uniquely ambitious trade and security partnership they say they want within the 21-month timeframe of the existing transition period.

Because her chief whip Julian Smith presumably has advised her that if she were to adopt the additional year of what the Brexiters see as pure vassalage - without simultaneously scrapping the backstop and Chequers - there would be (in the words of one) "the mother of all explosions".

"The deal is definitely going to be pushed back to November, if it happens at all", the source said. However, May is also under pressure from Brexit supporters to cut ties to the bloc as soon as possible. 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.

In a letter to EU leaders, European Council President Donald Tusk said: "The European Council will start on Wednesday evening with a debate on Brexit".

What do both sides want out of the summit?

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