Published: Sat, October 12, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Brexit: EU, UK get go-ahead to intensify talks

Brexit: EU, UK get go-ahead to intensify talks

This afternoon, Michel Barnier debriefed the EU27 Ambassadors.

European Council chief Donald Tusk on Friday also said that he has "received promising signals" from Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar that a Brexit deal is still possible and he has extended a deadline to continue talks with the UK.

An official from an European Union nation, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks are ongoing, said the U.K. had offered compromises on how to deal with the only EU-U.K. land border, on the island of Ireland.

The talks had appeared to be on the verge of collapse earlier this week after the United Kingdom government briefed that brokering a deal was "essentially impossible", but were surprisingly revived following three hours of talks between United Kingdom premier Boris Johnson and Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on Thursday.

The commission will take stock of progress on Monday, the statement said.

He had earlier cautioned that Brexit was "like climbing a mountain", saying that both sides needed "vigilance, determination, and patience". Fears that the country would crash out of the European Union without a deal has weighed heavily on the pound in recent weeks.

But he ruled out making that declaration, offering to hold out for the "slightest chance" of success, after speaking with Mr Varadkar.

Now negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union have entered the "tunnel phase" of intensive and secretive talks in a bid to secure an agreement.

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Tusk said "there is no guarantee of success and the time is practically up" but insisted both sides should use every opportunity available ahead of Britain's scheduled October 31 departure date.

Sterling climbed to the highest level in three months against the U.S. currency, briefly hitting $1.27, amid mounting optimism in the City, after the EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, said talks could progress to the next phase.

Meanwhile, Mr Johnson will challenge MPs to back any deal he has secured from Brussels when parliament sits on a weekend next Saturday for the first time in nearly four decades, The Times has reported.

In a joint statement, both leaders described the two-hour meeting as a "detailed and constructive discussion" where "they agreed that they could see a pathway to a possible deal".

Mrs Foster's comments on Northern Ireland's consent in post-Brexit arrangements come after NI secretary Julian Smith said there will not be a situation where "one community has a veto" over Brexit plans.

"I have a fundamental question: why give more time".

Following the breakfast meeting, Barnier began a briefing with ambassadors from the other 27 European Union capitals, seeking their input on entering political negotiations on a text.

Johnson said that there was a "pathway" to a belated deal to stave off a chaotic and costly no-deal Brexit on October 31, while Varadkar said the meeting was "very positive". But Ireland has been a key player because of the issue of the UK's only land border, between its province of Northern Ireland and Ireland.

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