Varadkar says even with Brexit transition extension Irish ‘backstop’ needed

Varadkar says even with Brexit transition extension Irish ‘backstop’ needed

Like his globalist-minded colleague's Welt article, Sir John also pursued insulting the electorate as a viable strategy to stop Brexit, claiming leave voters had been "deceived".

He says Conservatives are "close to despair" over how the negotiations are going.

"We need much more time and we will continue to work in the next weeks, calmly and patiently", he added.

It would run from 30th March 2019 (that is, after the United Kingdom has formally left the EU) until the end of 2020 and can only happen on the condition that they have a withdrawal agreement in place.

However, European Council president Donald Tusk has warned that without new "concrete proposals" from the British to break the logjam over the Irish border backstop, further progress on a deal may be impossible.

Brussels diplomats pointed out that this meeting had been billed as a decisive meeting where a draft deal might be tabled and tentatively approved. It is understood that the meeting was "cordial and positive".

May has tried to use the summit in Brussels - once seen as the stage for a possible breakthrough after more than a year of talks - to offer a softer tone to her European Union counterparts after another such meeting last month ended in acrimony.

Tusk advised May that "creative" thinking from Britain was required to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland, the issue that has brought Brexit negotiations to a standstill. Hardly the "taking back control" some Brexiteers were hoping for.

Should a solution not be found, the transition period, which is supposed to run until the end of 2020, could be extended by a year.

The end of transition had originally been fixed for December 2020 but it is now suggested that it could be pushed out by another year to the end of 2021.

"Many Conservative MPs (lawmakers) are making clear to the government that we won't support legislation seeking to prolong transition and large payments for no good reason", said John Redwood, a Conservative Brexit supporter.

'The terms of the implementation period, which will be part of the withdrawal agreement, dictates how we manage fisheries in that period. In a recent speech, the newspaper reports that Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon called for Scotland to be allowed to stay a member of the EU's single market, should Northern Ireland obtain a special deal.

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Following her 20-minute speech, Mrs May left to eat at the United Kingdom ambassador's residence in the Belgian capital, leaving the European Union leaders to discuss Brexit in her absence over a dinner of turbot cooked in wheat beer.

If there is a Brexit deal with the European Union, it will be presented to the 650 MPs in the House of Commons for their approval.

Mr Varadkar was speaking on the second day of the Asia-Europe summit in Brussels.

"My view is that we should really only have one if there is a objective to having one".

May briefed around 120 business leaders to update them on the progress of the talks after discussions in Brussels earlier this week.

Other delegations expressed a certain mannerly frustration with the UK's failure to advance the action.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Mr Hunt said: "The reason why this week has been hard is because Theresa May has not buckled".

Former Tory leader and arch Brexiteer Iain Duncan Smith attacked the Prime Minister's proposals warning the move would cost "tens of billions of pounds" in payments to the EU. Trade negotiations are complex: the more sectors they cover, the greater the number of stakeholders.

Her critics have the numbers to do this but say they have held off so far because they believe she would survive. "That is the problem", the Lithuanian president told reporters.

However, during exchanges at Prime Minister's Questions, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the Tories were too "weak and divided" to negotiate effectively with Brussels.

Tusk said the European Union leaders agreed to strengthen internal security and urged efforts to fight illegal cyber activities especially in the wake of a cyber-attack against the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, as revealed earlier this month.

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