Thursday, December 13, 2018 | ePaper

EU leaders keep up pressure on May to take Brexit deal

  • Print


British prime minister Theresa May talks with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker at the European Union leaders summit in Brussels also attended by Taoiseach Enda Kenny, seen on the right.

Reuters, Salzburg :
EU leaders lined up on Thursday to tell Theresa May she needs to give guarantees on the Irish border before they will grant her the Brexit deal the prime minister wants to avoid Britain crashing out of the bloc.
Arriving for a second day of summitry in Austria, May's European Union peers rammed home their message on her plea for them to ease up on a "backstop" plan dealing with the border between the British province of Northern Ireland and EU member state Ireland.
The backstop would keep Northern Ireland under EU economic oversight if London and Brussels cannot agree a trade pact to keep UK-EU borders open, an idea that May and a small party in the province that props up her minority government oppose.
"We have very clear principles regarding the integrity of the single market and regarding precisely the Irish border," French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters at the summit in Salzburg. "We need a UK proposal precisely preserving this backstop in the framework of a withdrawal agreement."
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar had his own early morning meeting with May, after she had asked the summit over dinner the previous night not to ask her effectively to divide the United Kingdom.
But Varadkar warned that Dublin was gearing up for the talks to collapse without a deal if London refuses to budge.
"We're ready for that eventuality, should it occur. But I think we need to double our efforts over the next couple of weeks to make sure that we have a deal," he said.
Leaders had listened politely to May for a few minutes around the summit dinner table, laid in the Salzburg theater used in the finale of the "The Sound of Music" film. EU chief executive Jean-Claude Juncker said: "It was interesting, it was polite, it was not aggressive.
"She is doing her job."
After dining on Wiener Schnitzel and wrangling for four hours over Europe's migrant problem, May was given the floor and tried to win over her 27 peers by asking them what they would do if they were asked to agree a "legal separation" of their countries.
She maintains that the backstop would divide Northern Ireland from the rest of the United Kingdom in terms of customs after Brexit day in March.
Maintaining a united front that refuses to let May bypass the talks run by EU negotiator Michel Barnier, the 27 leaders did not respond to her. They will discuss the issue among themselves over lunch on Thursday, setting what Barnier hopes can be a path to a final deal in two months.

More News For this Category

Four-year-old Palestinian boy dies of wounds from Israeli fire

Al Jazeera News :A four-year-old Palestinian boy has died after being injured by Israeli gunfire at a routine protest near the fence with Israel, Gaza's health authorities said.The Ministry

India's ruling Hindu nationalists suffer blow in state elections

Al Jazeera News :India's ruling party lost power in three key states on Tuesday, dealing Prime Minister Narendra Modi his biggest defeat since he took office in 2014 and

Thumbs up

Thumbs up" pics for Myanmar Reuters reporters as they mark year in jail

AFP :Messages of solidarity poured in Wednesday from around the world on the one-year anniversary of the arrest of two Myanmar Reuters journalists who exposed a massacre of Rohingya

France hunts gunman after three killed at Strasbourg Christmas market

France hunts gunman after three killed at Strasbourg Christmas market

AFP  :Hundreds of police hunted Wednesday for a gunman who shot dead three people and wounded 13, eight seriously, at a famed Christmas market in Strasbourg, on the French

Trump says he stands by Saudi crown prince

Al Jazeera News :US President Donald Trump has reiterated his support for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as MBS, despite CIA assessment that the Saudi royal ordered

May hit by leadership challenge over Brexit deal

May hit by leadership challenge over Brexit deal

AFP :British MPs launched a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Theresa May over her Brexit plan on Wednesday but she vowed to fight off the leadership challenge, warning that

Ex US senators warn of `constitutional crisis` under Trump

Ex US senators warn of `constitutional crisis` under Trump

AP, Washington :Forty-four former US Senators from both major US parties warned Monday of threats to US democracy under President Donald Trump, and a "constitutional crisis" for America.They said the

Modi stares at biggest election loss since coming to power

Modi stares at biggest election loss since coming to power

Reuters, New Delhi :India's ruling party could lose power in three key states, four TV networks said on Tuesday, citing votecount leads, potentially handing Prime Minister Narendra Modi his biggest

EU offers new Brexit deal clarity, won't renegotiate: Juncker

EU offers new Brexit deal clarity, won't renegotiate: Juncker

Reuters, Strasbourg  :The European Union is willing to give Britain further clarifications on its Brexit deal but will not renegotiate the treaty or its protocol on the Irish border, EU

China warns against 'bullying' of its citizens

China warns against 'bullying' of its citizens

AFP, Beijing :China's foreign minister warned Tuesday against the "bullying" of any Chinese citizen, amid a diplomatic fracas over the arrest of a Huawei executive on a US warrant in