No breakthrough in Brexit talks over Irish backstop

No breakthrough in Brexit talks over Irish backstop

"We need more. preparations", Barroso, who now serves as a non-executive chairman at Goldman Sachs, told Sky News when asked when if he thought Brexit would happen as currently scheduled on March 29.

In her phone call last week with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, May stressed the central role of Cox in unlocking parliamentary ratification of the Brexit deal, European Union sources said.

British Prime Minister Theresa May will meet with EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker late Wednesday for a latest attempt to find a breakthrough in the stalled Brexit negotiations.

"I've underlined the need for us to see legally binding changes to the backstop which ensure it can not be indefinite", May said.

In their joint statement, May and Juncker said talks were "constructive" and their teams would press on to "explore the options in a positive spirit". Then she could return to parliament next week and offer lawmakers some progress before another vote.

The Irish border issue has been the stumbling block in the EU-UK Brexit talks. It says "alternative technological arrangements" Britain wants to use instead do not exist for now.

Brexiteers in May's Conservative party see the clause as a trap that would keep Britain tied to the union indefinitely and have demanded a time limit or mechanism that would allow it to leave the customs union unilaterally.

Mr Barclay and Attorney General Geoffrey Cox were said to have had a "productive" discussion with the EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, in the Belgian capital on Monday.

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Chancellor Philip Hammond said on Tuesday evening the government accepted the European Union will not agree to replace the backstop arrangements for the Irish border with technological alternatives in time for the scheduled date of Brexit on 29 March. They stressed they do not believe a breakthrough is imminent and that a resolution will not be reached before next week.

"This is not a meeting about Brexit and the Prime Minister is not going to seek to turn it into one", one official said.

With 37 days left until Brexit, sterling rose on a Bloomberg report that cited Spain's foreign minister as saying a revised Brexit accord was being hammered out.

"The ideas for reopening the Withdrawal Agreement are basically for changing the backstop and making it no longer a genuine backstop, because a backstop has to be there whatever the circumstances", Stefaan de Rynck told the United Kingdom in a Changing Europe think tank in London.

The pound had earlier slipped on worries about May's ability to get any compromise through parliament. They called her handling of Brexit "disastrous".

Revenue says its priority in the context of Brexit is to facilitate the efficient and timely movement of legitimate trade. "Otherwise they will be forced into a delay of Brexit, or crash out".

An extension of Article 50 - which determines the exit date - must be agreed unanimously by all the EU's remaining 27 member states.

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