EU Gives Theresa May Ten Days To Make Progress On Brexit Offer
With Brexit negotiations taking place, the EU has expressed that it’s keen to speed up progress and has given the UK ten days before leaders move on to talks on future relations and trade agreements. European Council president Donald Tusk tweeted on Friday (24 November) that “Sufficient progress in Brexit talks at December’s European Council is possible. But still a huge challenge. We need to see progress from UK within 10 days on all issues, including on Ireland”
The tweet follows Tusks meeting with Theresa May at the EU’s Eastern Partnership Summit, where May was given a deadline of 4th December to make finalize the Brexit Bill in order to move forward with the next phase of negotiations. If the UK fails to make progress in the next ten days then it will be impossible to move onto discussions about trade. An EU source said that “May agreed to this time frame”
Theresa May told reporters that “There are still issues across the various matters that we are negotiating to be resolved. These negotiations are continuing, but what I am clear about is that we must step forward together. This is for both the UK and the EU to move on to the next stage” The UK hopes that trade talks with the EU will go ahead as planned in December, despite there still being issues that need to be addressed.
One of the key issues is the issues over the Irish border, with Ireland wanting guarantees from the UK that it will avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic. The Irish government believe that the regulations of Northern Ireland should be aligned with EU rules and that the UK needs to avoid a situation where border checks are introduced.
Ireland’s foreign minister said that “We can’t move to phase two [of the negotiations] based on aspirations, but on the basis of a credible road map or the parameters around which we can design a credible road map. We are not going to allow a border to re-emerge on the island of Ireland, and we have a shared responsibility with the UK on that. If we have regulatory divergence, it is very hard to see how you avoid border checks”
Other EU member states, including France and Germany, have already stated that they are not willing to commit to the second phase of talks until they see the details of the Britain’s offer. Theresa May said that “We would honour our commitments and that’s what we have been talking about” The ten days set out by Tusk will end on 4th December when May meets with the president of the Commission Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels.