The Brexit talks by Theresa May touches the Irish border obstacle –

The Brexit talks by Theresa May touches the Irish border obstacle


It was expected that May would arrive in Brussels on Monday morning with the guidelines of an agreement covering the three areas of controversy: the financial agreement of Great Britain or the "divorce bill"; the rights of citizens of the European Union in the United Kingdom after Brexit and the thorny issue of the Northern Ireland border.
But while there were positive noises in the first two numbers, the Irish government insisted on Monday that there was still no agreement on the border. "The contacts continue at the official level in an effort to reach an agreement," a spokesman for the Irish government told CNN, but added that "there is still a way to go."

Helen McEntee, Ireland's minister in Europe, told the BBC that a "large amount of work" had been achieved over the weekend, but that there was no text to be presented to the Irish cabinet, which was meeting Monday in the morning.

Ireland wants firm guarantees of Britain's intentions for the border when it leaves the EU. Britain has said it will leave the single market and the customs union after Brexit in March 2019, a move that critics say could lead to a so-called "hard border" between Northern Ireland and Ireland.

The problem is sensitive because the absence of border controls and infrastructure was a key part of the Good Friday Agreement that ended decades of sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland.

The lack of an agreement with the Irish government could further delay the Brexit negotiations. On Monday, May has a working lunch with the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, and will meet with the President of the EU Council, Donald Tusk.

The EU has repeatedly warned that there can be no trade negotiations until the border problem is solved.

The Irish cabinet met for a special meeting on Monday morning, where the ministers were to be updated on the nightly developments.

"These discussions are in a delicate place at the moment," Irish Deputy Prime Minister Simon Coveney told RTE Radio 1 on Monday. "Both governments understand what each one is asking, and obviously there is a consultation with both governments to try to do it well"

Coveney, who is also Foreign Minister, seemed optimistic that the two sides could attack one but warned that "our partners across the EU will stand firm with us, if necessary."

"We are saying that we need more peace of mind before moving on to phase two," he added.

  Flags flutter in the wind outside the EU headquarters in Brussels on Monday.

Fang backed Ireland on Friday, stating firmly that Ireland's problem must be resolved before any post-Brexit trade discussion can move forward.

"If the offer from the UK is unacceptable to Ireland, it will also be unacceptable to the EU," Tusk told reporters in Dublin. "This is the reason why the key to the future of the United Kingdom lies, in some way, in Dublin, at least as long as the Brexit negotiations continue."

May received an ultimatum on December 4 to offer additional proposals on these hot spots. It was badumed that Monday's meetings would allow EU heads of government to determine whether "sufficient progress" had been made.

If considered sufficient, negotiations can be taken to move towards the future commercial relationship between the United Kingdom and the EU and the transitory agreements at the EU's critical summit on December 14.

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Manfred Weber, leader of the European People's Party in the European Parliament, and a key ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, sounded a somber note on Monday morning.

"In the Brexit negotiations, money is one of the problems, but it is not the biggest, we are much more concerned about the fact that the negotiations are stuck in protecting the rights of EU citizens and in the case of Ireland, "Weber wrote on Twitter.

"We will not change our red lines The lives of millions of families are at stake If a clear commitment is not made, the @EPPGroup will not be ready to evaluate the progress made as sufficient to enter a second phase of negotiations. ", keep going.

In London, the EU withdrawal bill was once again under scrutiny in the House of Commons. On Monday's agenda, lawmakers will discuss how leaving the bloc will affect other parts of the UK, not including England. The ministers fear that the powers that once resided in the EU will return to Westminster, instead of transferring them to decentralized areas.

During the weekend, the main supporters of Brexit demanded that May remain firm in "any other financial commitment with the EU until they have agreed that, in return, they will meet a series of conditions."

That delivered in the middle of December summit, the group Leave Means Leave sent a letter describing several terms, including a call for Britain to be outside the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and no new regulations of the EU once Britain leaves in March 2019.

In fact, May promised to end the authority of the ECJ in the UK, however, has suggested that his mandate could continue in a certain capacity during a "period of implementation "after March 2019.

CNN's Hilary McGann contributed to this report.

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