UK, EU inch closer to agreeing Brexit deal

Dominic Raab

The United Kingdom and the European Union are close to agreeing a Brexit deal, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab said last Thursday. “We have made good progress. We are close to agreeing a deal,” he pointed out, adding that “there certainly is a risk of a no deal especially if the EU engages in a deliberately intransigent approach.”

Meanwhile, European Council President Donald Tusk told the European Parliament that he would be ready to call a special summit on Brexit whenever negotiators said “decisive progress” had been made toward a deal. “I stand ready to convene a European Council, if and when the Union negotiator reports that decisive progress has been made,” he said. “The Brexit talks continue with the aim of reaching a deal,” Tusk added, saying no one wanted talks to fail.

Briefing lawmakers on last week's regular summit, Tusk recalled that EU leaders had agreed that they would meet again to endorse a deal if their negotiator Michel Barnier judged that enough progress toward a deal had been made. A Brexit meeting on 17-18 November is still on hold. Tusk repeated that he believed leaders would extend Britain's status-quo transition period after Brexit in March if London asked for that, an issue May raised at the summit.

May herself said last Monday that 95% of Brexit deal has been agreed but repeat her opposition to a EU proposal for the Irish border. Facing some of the fiercest attacks to date over her Brexit plans after again failing to clinch a deal at an EU summit last week, May tried to calm passions in parliament where her strategy has angered euroskeptics and EU supporters alike.

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