Published: Wed, October 17, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

European Union calls for new proposals from Theresa May to break Brexit deadlock

European Union calls for new proposals from Theresa May to break Brexit deadlock

But she emerged from Tuesday's cabinet meeting looking relatively safe, at least for now, with the Cabinet backing her proposals in a two-and-a-half hour meeting - despite earlier threats to walk from a number of ministers.

- That it would not be possible for her or any other UK Prime Minister to sign up to an agreement which created a customs border down the Irish Sea.

The Prime Minister will briefly address the leaders of the European Union 27 on Wednesday evening before they discuss the state of play in the Brexit negotiations over a working dinner while she leaves.

Mrs May will also have bilateral meetings with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, European Council president Donald Tusk, and Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

Ireland's foreign minister hinted at one possible area of compromise, saying the European Union was willing to extend Britain's post-Brexit transition period, giving more time to find a permanent solution to the Irish border problem. However, as everyone who has followed the twists and turns of Britain's negotiations to leave the European Union knows, Brexit is anything but logical.

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On Monday evening, arch Brexiteer Andrea Leadsom hosted seven other Cabinet ministers in her office, where they ate pizza and discussed what to do next.

Here Theresa May will have a chance to assess the loyalty of her cabinet as they meet to discuss yesterday's bruising Commons session.

Mrs May issued a plea for unity as she said she remained determined to secure a Brexit that would respect the result of the 2016 referendum, protect jobs and security and preserve the Union. "We think it is in the best interests of the United Kingdom and European Union to forge that deep future partnership", the spokesman said.

The prime minister has refused to accept European Union demands for an indefinite Brexit backstop but pro-Leave ministers are still anxious by the direction of talks.

Mrs May replied: "We've been very clear throughout the negotiations in relation to the financial settlement that led to the figure of around £39 billion following the December joint report, that this is a country that honours its legal obligations and we will do exactly that".

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However, it is being looked at seriously and that is why Mr Barnier felt able to brief member states in Luxembourg.

Germany's Europe minister called on May to "take responsibility and be constructive".

Mr Roth made clear that Germany is alive to the problems Mrs May could face in getting any deal through Parliament, telling reporters: "I have the impression that it is hard to secure the appropriate parliamentary majority in Great Britain".

The Prime Minister responded by saying the Government would take "the needs of the British economy" into account when considering future immigration policies. "Without a clear vote in the European Parliament and without a clear vote in the British Parliament, it won't succeed in the end".

The prime minister heads to Brussels today with little expectation of unlocking the further progress on Brexit that had been hoped for this month.

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