Brexit deal getting closer, European Commission chief says

Sunday, 07 Oct, 2018

Ireland's deputy prime minister said the Brexit negotiators need to "lock themselves into a room" for the next two weeks to hammer out a deal.

President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker has insisted that there must be limits to the freedom of the press as he accused British media of trampling over the human rights of politicians.

Foreign office minister Sir Alan Duncan also expressed optimism that a deal could be reached before December.

His comments stress the importance Brussel's places on solving the Irish border, an issue that has divided her party and raised the prospect of a no-deal.

The British government is expected to table new proposals in an attempt to break the impasse over the Irish border, but a role for the devolved assembly remains unclear. "But our will is unbroken to reach agreement with the British government".

Spain, sitting just north of Gibraltar - which will leave the European Union along with Britain - and Cyprus briefed on talks with London over two separate protocols that will be added to any withdrawal deal, the sources said.

Following Friday's news, sterling rose to a 10-week high of 88.19 pence against the euro.

Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, speaking in Brussels on Thursday, has stressed no new proposals have been made on paper and that they should come well ahead of the European Union summit in less than two weeks to leave enough time for analysis.

"Although, if we have learned anything from Brexit it's that the timetable is incredibly flexible, to use diplomatic language", he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

Sources in Brussels suggested the deal offered to Mrs May would be tariff-free but would not allow completely frictionless trade, because that would undermine the integrity of the single market. Rachel Reeves tweeted: "All the Labour MPs listed work hard and fight Tories locally and nationally every day".

"I don't know what Canada-plus-plus-plus means, it is just a concept at this stage", Varadkar said, adding that it did not negate the need for a "legally binding backstop" - a guarantee to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland if there is no agreement on the future trading relationship.

Mr Farrell become involved in the Northern Ireland civil rights movement in the late 1960s, while at Queens University in Belfast, and was a founding member of the university-based People's Democracy group. Goods and services pass between the two areas easily without any restrictions.

"We want to have a deal".

Britain is due to leave the European Union in March, but talks on managing the unprecedented split have been stalled over differences on how to avoid border checks between EU-member Ireland and Britain's province of Northern Ireland.

Varadkar said Dublin was open in principle to anything that helps escape extensive Irish border checks but voiced caution on an all-British customs union, which the EU has once rejected before.

The Wall Street investment bank said the business, previously run via Citibank Europe plc, headquartered in Ireland, would be transferred to the new bank by March 2019 subject to approvals from regulators.