Theresa May needs to give more detail, European Union demands

Pauline Gross
September 25, 2017

As of today, these considerations point to an implementation period of around two years. French President Emmanuel Macron said May had made "advances", and Barnier praised her "constructive spirit".

"We need to agree what is part of the deal".

He said: "Ultimately Ireland wants: the gains of the peace process protected, including avoiding a hard border; an orderly UK withdrawal; a sufficiently long and non-disruptive transition arrangement; and the closest possible EU-UK future relationship, including in trade, which minimises to the greatest extent possible the impact on the Irish economy".

Weakened at home after his failure in the elections of June, Theresa May does not want to rush his fellow citizens who have voted in favour of the Brexit, or the eurosceptics in his own conservative Party, a few days of their annual conference which opens on 1 October. With the exception of the budget - May made what should have been the obvious admission that the United Kingdom would pay what it had previously agreed to pay - her speech, which was supposed to provide the opportunity for a breakthrough moment in the tortuous Brexit negotiations, shows how little progress has been made since March.

"That's because Theresa May and her Conservative cabinet colleagues are spending more time negotiating with each other rather than with the European Union", he added.

Arlene Foster, the head of Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist party (DUP), which is propping up May's government, called for any Brexit transition period to be kept to a minimum and accused the European Union of trying to damage Britain.

Striking a negative tone, Michael Stuebgen, the lead lawmaker on European affairs for Merkel's Christian Democrats, said May's speech "still hasn't explicitly committed Britain to all of its financial obligations in the EU budget".

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This was trickier for the prime minister - any promise of major transfers to the European Union after 2020 would be likely to cause uproar among the hardliners.

The Prime Minister will set out her plans for a transitional period from the formal date of Brexit in March 2019, expected to last two years, before moving to a permanent trade deal.

Ravens also jokes: "I'm told some of the artefacts in the Uffizi gallery are nearly as ancient as Jacob Rees‐Mogg's world view", while apologising to Boris Johnson for not making this her resignation speech. "Only progress made at the negotiating table will allow the European Council [of EU leaders] to conclude that the sufficient progress has been made".

But she didn't provide many new clues about her long-term vision.

The prime minister said she is optimistic about the future, despite the upheaval exiting the European Union might cause.

It was the notional writing of an undated check from us to them, that government insiders hope means next week, when the official talks get back under way, some progress can actually be made.

Other reports by GizPress

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