EU's Tusk suggests extra Brexit summit in November

Pauline Gross
September 19, 2018

Supporters of Brexit, who admit there may be some short term instability, say some British ministers and business chiefs are spreading scare stories about the impact of a "no-deal" Brexit in an attempt to rally support behind May's plans.

In a sign that Brexit talks could go to the wire, the European Union is preparing for a final deal to be struck at an emergency summit in November, rather than the scheduled October meeting previously targeted by both sides in the negotiations.

Leaving the EU in March 2019 without having signed a withdrawal agreement would be "chaotic and damaging" for the United Kingdom, the Exiting the EU Committee said in a report that appeared to challenge the government's claim it is close to reaching a deal.

Raab said the government is sticking to its proposal for a post-Brexit border between its province of Northern Ireland and European Union member Ireland, one of the major obstacles to an agreement.

Tusk said the 27 other leaders would meet on Thursday without May to discuss a statement of intent on future relations with Britain, which is to be announced along with the Brexit divorce deal.

"We have to do everything possible to avoid a hard Brexit and to make possible that there will be a strong cooperation between the United Kingdom and the European Union", Kurz said Monday ahead of talks with French President Emmanuel Macron.

He branded Mr Barnier's "backstop" proposals - which would see Northern Ireland remain in the European Union customs area - unworkable, because they would create a border in the Irish Sea and fail to respect the constitutional integrity of the UK.

"British politics is littered with the graveyards of people who have predicted the demise of Theresa May and been proved wrong", he said.

Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar played down the prospect of Salzburg producing any shift in the EU's negotiating stance.

Jeremy Corbyn
Labour’s conference begins this weekend in Liverpool

The taoiseach told the Dáil: "I do not anticipate there will be any change to the EU's position or any change to our negotiating guidelines".

But EU officials are also minded not to paint May into a corner, aware that she faces increasing opposition to her plans in her Conservative Party and needs a victory of sorts to try to persuade a reluctant parliament to back a deal. We've put the Chequers plan on the table and that does deliver for people.

"I think that the alternative to that will be not having a deal".

However, pro-Brexit Conservative MP Andrew Bridgin poured scorn on the IMF's analysis saying that the IMF had been wrong before, and were so again: "Christine Lagarde, the same IMF, who told us that if we even voted we would be in an immediate recession, it's the same IMF that didn't foresee the economic crash in 2008".

Committee chairman Hilary Benn said that with time running out to secure a withdrawal agreement there were "significant problems yet to be resolved", with the Irish border backstop the main sticking point.

EU Council President Donald Tusk wrote that "unfortunately, a no deal scenario is still quite possible".

In an interview in the Daily Express before heading for Salzburg, Mrs May says: "Brexit gives us the opportunity to build a better future and to help people to realise the British dream".

Commissioned by the government and published on Tuesday, the report concluded that free movement from the European Union should end after Brexit.

The long-awaited study by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) also concluded that the post-Brexit immigration system should make it easier for higher-skilled workers to come to the country, while continuing to limit access for those in lower-skilled roles.

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