#Brexit – UK and Ireland ‘see a pathway’ to a possible deal

| October 11, 2019 | 0 Comments

By EU Reporter Correspondent

Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Following a bilateral meeting between the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, a joint statement was issued affirming that both parties could see a pathway to a possible deal, writes Catherine Feore

The discussions were described as detailed and constructive. Both parties agreed that a deal was in everybody’s interest. Little in the way of detail has emerged, only that the discussions were focused on the issues of customs and consent. Â

The statement notes that the Taoiseach will consult with the European Commission’s Taskforce 50 (the team of officials dedicated to working on Brexit) and that the Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay would meet with Michel Barnier, the EU’s Chief Negotiator this morning (11 October).Â

The response from the EU has been muted. Tusk tweeted this morning that the UK had not yet put forward a realistic proposal. Â

The UK has still not come forward with a workable, realistic proposal. But I have received promising signals from Taoiseach @LeoVaradkar that a deal is possible. Even the slightest chance must be used. A no deal #Brexit will never be the choice of the EU.

— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) October 11, 2019

Downing Street has been tight lipped since yesterday, which may allow for negotiations with the Democratic Unionist Partners (DUP), these are probably best conducted outside the full glare, as some of their more hardline supporters have already accused the leadership of capitulation. Â

With less than a week to go before the European Council of heads of state and government, it is difficult to imagine that an agreement is possible next week. Each state will have to carefully examine any proposal with its national government before agreeing to it. With no credible proposal available today 11 October, it is difficult to see the European Council reaching an agreement next week. Even if a deal were possible, it is questionable if its full detail would be ready by Prime Minister Johnson’s promised deadline of 31 October. Â

The British parliament would also need time to agree and support a government proposal. That seems unlikely since the British Prime Minister has a minority government and an opposition that wants a general election once a ‘no deal’ Brexit is averted. There is also the question of enabling legislation, any deal – or even ‘no deal’ – will also require the adoption of further laws in the UK on issues like  immigration, healthcare and the UK’s international agreements, agriculture and trade. This is unlikely with a minority government. Â

The European Commission Spokesperson Mina Andreeva said that the Taoiseach had been in contact with Mr Barnier. She also reported that Barnier had had a ‘constructive’ meeting with the Brexit secretary. The Commission said that Barnier was briefing COREPER (senior European diplomats from each member state – excluding the UK for Article 50 Brexit issues) and would then brief the Brexit Steering Group made up of MEPs from the main groups in the European Parliament (European People’s Party, Renew Europe, Social Democrats, Green and Nordic Green Left). The negotiations have reentered a ‘tunnel’ period – out of the public glare, in the hope that a compromise agreement can be reached. Â

Source:: EU Reporter Feed

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