The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, fears the refusal of member states to soften their demands over the size of Britain’s “divorce bill” could lead to a collapse in talks and the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal, minutes of a meeting of the European commission reveal. Barnier has told the commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, and other senior officials that the stakes are so high because Berlin and Paris are refusing to pay more to cover the UK’s departure, while those governments who receive the most from EU funds are opposed to any cuts in spending. “Mr Barnier considered that this issue would doubtless be one of the most difficult in the negotiation,” the minutes of a top-level meeting held earlier this month note. “However, should there be no agreement on this point, he believed that the risk of failing to reach an agreement on an orderly withdrawal of the United Kingdom would become real, since none of the … [Read more...] about Brexit talks could collapse over UK divorce bill, says EU negotiator
Withdrawing divorce application
Theresa May's desperate plea for EU leaders to show 'courage' to break the deadlock in Brexit talks fell flat tonight - amid claims she could keep Britain lashed to the bloc for another year to ease the Irish border standoff. The PM was accused of having 'nothing new' to say after she urged counterparts to be 'creative' as negotiations threaten to collapse into disarray. A summit pencilled in for next month to seal a divorce package has now been shelved, effectively ruling out any kind of resolution before December. And to make matters worse Mrs May is facing a furious backlash from Brexiteers and the DUP after EU sources claimed the premier had said she was considering extending the mooted transition period for another year beyond the end of 2020. The PM earlier dodged questions from journalists about the suggestion from Brussels that the timeline could be pushed back to smooth the Irish border issue, although aides insisted it was not something the UK side was actively … [Read more...] about Another YEAR of Brexit? Fury over claims May ‘will keep UK tied to the EU for 12 MORE months’ – after bloc’s leaders dismiss her compromise plea and DITCH crunch summit
Already under pressure, Prime Minister Theresa May's government lost three votes in the House of Commons on Tuesday, even before the main debate got underway. May is seeking approval from the house for the exit deal from the EU which her negotiators signed off last week. That vote will be taken next Tuesday. But this Tuesday began with a setback for her as a European Court of Justice advocate general gave formal advice that revoking the "Article 50" divorce notice was an option for the House without the other EU 27 member states having a say. The UK does not need approval of other EU countries to withdraw from Brexit, the advocate ruled. Then, MPs voted 311 to 293 in favor of holding the UK government "in contempt of parliament" for refusing to release key legal advice on the Withdrawal Agreement and the backstop legal guarantee for avoiding a hard border with Ireland. House Leader Andrea Leadsom said the government would publish "the final and full advice provided by the … [Read more...] about UK government loses key votes as parliament gains powers in next Brexit steps
The EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, has pencilled in 19 June for the first formal day of talks with Britain about its withdrawal from the European Union, in what are being billed as the most important negotiations in the country’s history. That highly symbolic morning, Barnier will face whoever is the British Brexit secretary after the election for the first day of an arduous 15 months of negotiations to hammer out the terms of the UK’s exit. It is understood that the European commission’s Brexit taskforce, led by Barnier, shared the proposed date with key figures in Brussels last week. EU officials are yet to discuss any logistics with the UK, however, due to an ongoing row with Theresa May’s government over its blocking of a mid-term review of the union’s budget. Brussels cancelled plans for behind-the-scenes “pre-talk talks” to discuss how the negotiations could be handled in anger last month when Britain vetoed the shuffling of … [Read more...] about Brexit negotiations set to start on 19 June
British Prime Minister Theresa May spent Monday touring Europe in an effort to save her Brexit deal. She returned on Tuesday to find lawmakers from her own party had triggered a leadership challenge. This week, May had canceled a planned vote on her divorce agreement with the EU, fearing a heavy defeat. The deal she had reached with Brussels had previously prompted several high-profile resignations from her Cabinet. Watch video 02:18 Share May attempts to save Brexit deal Send Facebook Twitter google+ Whatsapp Tumblr linkedin stumble Digg reddit Newsvine Permalink https://p.dw.com/p/39ur4 May tours Europe in bid to save Brexit deal How this happened A challenge can be triggered if 15 percent of the Conservative MPs write a letter to the chairman of the influential "1922 Committee" [the parliamentary group of all backbench Conservative lawmakers] demanding a vote of confidence in the leader. The party currently has 315 MPs, meaning … [Read more...] about UK leadership challenge: How does it work?