Brexit talks in deadlock as May arrives for emergency talks

This week Theresa May flew to Brussels for emergency talks after negations failed to move forward, but downing street played down the trip insisting the visit had been in the diary for some weeks.

Theresa May met EU leaders and other EU Officials and claimed that talks had been productive, however she suggested there was “some way to go,” but that she was “optimistic”.

Her visit comes at a turbulent time in the Brexit’s negations, after the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, said the talks had been in “deadlock” for some weeks.

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Progress had been slow after both sides disagreed on the so-called divorce bill, and the financial commitment the UK would have to pay before the negations could move onto trade talks, and the future relationship the UK would have with the EU post Brexit.

Influential French President Emmanuel Macron, has waded into the deadlock, warning “there was still much work to be done on the financial commitment before trade talks can begin.”

European Council President Donald Tusk, has tried to diffuse tensions speaking at a press conference, suggesting that the deadlock over Brexit negotiations may have been “exaggerated “by the press.

He said Progress was “not sufficient” to begin trade talks with the UK but added that it “doesn’t mean there is no progress at all.”

EU leaders will discuss the issue at their next summit, which could lead to trade being discussed possibly in December.

Mays secret deal ?

Theresa May has been criticised this week after it is rumoured that she has privately reassured EU leaders that the UK would not leave a black hole in the EU budget, by promising a figure of over 20 billion Euros as the UK leaves.

This is likely to anger many of her back benchers who already question her leadership and many leave voters will feel betrayed after the campaign promise that the UK would not pay a penny for leaving.

Mrs May was asked at the press conference in Brussels, where she did not deny it or reject the idea the UK could have to pay around 60 billion euros.

Whatever the rumours there is still not set figure on the table of how much the UK will have to pay in settling its accounts.

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Theresa May sets out the proposals for the new deal the UK will have with the EU.

Theresa May today has addressed the House of Commons in a speech where she called for a “unique and ambitious economic partnership” with the EU after Brexit.

 

After a turbulent few days for the PM, namely the failed cue against her and a poor conference speech.

Mrs May told MPs that “progress will not always be smooth.” Highlighting the European parliament’s decision, voting in favour of a motion to allow the Brexit negotiation not to move to the next round.

But she insisted that she could “prove the doomsayers wrong”, and that Britain would be able to negotiate a deal that works for the UK and the EU.

 

She referred back to her Florence speech where she gave EU leaders certain assurances on payments and citizens’ rights.

She said that “the ball is in their court”. Which was received with cheers on her side of the house.

The leader of Labour Jeremy Corbin, criticized the PM and her negotiating team, arguing that “no real progress had been made,” in the last 15 months since the referendum.

He accused the government of “squabbling” and put the question to Mrs May “what on earth has the government been doing all this time?”

 

 

In Mrs May’s speech, she called for “leadership and flexibility” between the UK and the other 27 nations. Which would allow both sides to form a “new” deep and special partnership.

Mrs May ended her speech expressing her good will and said she would “look forward to the next stage “and she was optimistic the UK would “receive a positive response.”

The EU is set to vote later this week about when the next round of negotiations will take place.

The Repeal Bill already facing challenges?

Yesterday the Repeal bill was published, but it has already run into some difficulties, with the Labour party and the devolved administrations threatening to block it.

The UK is only into the Brexit process by a few weeks, but it looks like the cracks are starting to show for the government, by not having the devolved administrations on side.

Government Ministers are confident about getting it through the commons and have promised an “ongoing intense dialogue” with the devolved administrations.

First Minster of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon and First Minster of Wales, Carwyn Jones, described the bill as a “naked power-grab” by Westminster that undermined the principles of devolution.

The government is also facing criticism from inside the Labour Party, they claim it gives ministers a free hand over huge parts of policy without being scrutinized by Parliament.

From an outsider, it does appear that the government is being pushed and prodded from all angles, and with the shambolic general election result, this government authority does seem to be wavering.

However the Brexit Secretary David Davis, rejected the criticism and said its “one of the most significant pieces of legislation that has ever passed through Parliament”.

He also made the point that the bill does not give ministers “sweeping powers” to make changes to laws as they are repatriated.

The Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn, with his new found confidence, has said his party would not support the bill in its current form and called for concessions in six key areas.

These comments come after the Labour leader was in Brussels meeting the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

During his visit Corbyn appeared to go on the attack. He said, “We will make sure there is full parliamentary scrutiny.”

He also added that “we have a Parliament where the government doesn’t have a majority, we have a country which voted in two ways on Leave or Remain.”

With the bill likely to pass in the commons, the Conservative government are just starting the trek through the two year battle ahead. What seems for certain is the UK becoming more and more divided on the Brexit issue.

 

 

What’s the offer for EU citizens?

Since the Brexit vote last year millions of EU citizens living in the UK have been living with uncertainty, with the prospect of not having their rights guaranteed.

 

 

Yesterday talks finally got under way, giving EU citizens and the estimated 1.million Britons living across the continent some detail about their status.

The 3 million EU citizens living in the UK will be able to settle here giving them a “settled status”, allowing them to have similar rights that they enjoy now, as long as they have been here for 5 years.

PM addressing Parliament on EU citizens rights.

But here is where it gets a bit murky. There is an unspecified cut-off date where citizens who have been here for under five years can go on a path to “settled status”.

Confused yet? This means that those people might have to have a form of identity card.
EU citizens have moved from being unsure about their status to becoming gambling chips in the Tories game of poker with the other 27 countries of the EU.

 

 

This deal already might be in some trouble. Chief negotiator for the EU Michel Barnier has tweeted that “More ambition, clarity and guarantees are needed than in today’s UK position.”

Mr Barnier wants EU citizens’ rights to be guaranteed by EU law, this would mean the European court of justice over seeing this, which is a big no-no for Mrs May.

 

Although a better relationship seems to be growing between the two with Theresa May saying “This issue is a top priority”, or does this simply suggest with Mays authority damaged, the EU is revelling in walking all over her, respectfully of course.