Tag Archives: Michel Barnier

EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier

RTÉ’s Europe Editor Tony Connolly tweetz:

BREAKING: Michel Barnier has told EU Commissioners he is optimistic of getting a deal done today, RTÉ News understands.

However, there still outstanding issues, so this could go right to the wire.

It’s understood VAT has emerged as a last-minute problem: if NI remains inside the EU’s VAT system, essential for North-South trade, then a new mechanism will have to be created for East-West trade, as the UK will be in its own VAT system.

However, it’s understood officials are confident that a solution can be found.

It’s understood consent is also proving difficult, with a senior EU source saying the DUP are pushing to restore a tighter Stormont lock.

The third big hurdle is on the “level playing field” provisions. The EU is concerned at Boris Johnson’s bid to dilute Theresa May’s commitments to not stray far from the EU’s environmental, state aid, social and labour standards.

The meeting of EU ambassadors, whom Barnier will brief, is still scheduled for 14hr CET, suggesting that the timings are still on course.

Barnier ‘optimistic’ of Brexit deal today (RTÉ)

Meanwhile…

Britain’s Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay

Sky News reports:

Boris Johnson will write a letter to the EU asking for a delay to Brexit beyond 31 October if he fails to get an exit deal approved by parliament by Saturday, the Brexit secretary has confirmed.

Stephen Barclay told a committee of MPs that the prime minister will “comply” with legislation, aimed at blocking a no-deal Brexit at the end of the month, passed by opposition MPs last month.

PM will write letter to EU asking for Brexit delay if no deal by Saturday (Greg Heffer, Sky News)

Pics: Politics For All

UPDATE:

Mr Connolly tweetz:

BREAKING: two senior EU sources say the main stumbling block to a deal has been removed with the DUP accepting the latest proposals on consent… Optimism a deal can now be done…

But DUP leader Arlene Foster tweetz:

‘EU sources’ are talking nonsense. Discussions continue. Needs to be a sensible deal which unionists and nationalists can support.

UDPATE:

Mr Connolly addz:

At the risk of getting into a source arms race, I have four sources confirming the original report…

Taoiseach leo Varadkar and EU’s Brexit chief negotiator Michel Barnier this afternoon

This afternoon.

Brussels, Belgium

Speaking today, Mr Varadkar said: “There’s very much a strong view across the European Union that there shouldn’t be any more extensions.

“While I have endless patience, some of my colleagues have lost patience, quite frankly, with the UK – and there’s enormous hostility to any further extension.”

He suggested he could only see an extension being agreed to allow for something like a general election or second referendum in the UK.

The Taoiseach added: “What won’t be entertained is an extension for further negotiations, or further indicative votes – the time for that has long since passed.”

Enormous Hostility To Any Brexit Extension  – Varadkar (Newstalk)

Rollingnews/GIS

Meanwhile…

Um.

Class wario writes:

Today’s Indo. Probably the most agreeable thing I’ve seen attributed to Leo….

This afternoon.

Government Buildings, Dublin

The EU’s Chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, in Dublin to discuss the Brexit crisis ahead of a summit of EU leaders in Brussels on Wednesday.

Taoiseach meets Michel Barnier in Dublin ahead of EU leaders’ summit (RTÉ)

Leah Farrell/RollingNews

EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier in Brussels this morning

A no-deal Brexit is now more likely but can still be avoided, the EU’s chief negotiator has said.

Michel Barnier said a long extension to the UK’s current 12 April exit date carried “significant risks for the EU” and that a “strong justification would be needed” before the EU would agree.

…In the Commons votes on Monday, MPs rejected a customs union with the EU by three votes. A motion for another referendum got the most votes in favour, but still lost.

One suggestion has been the possibility of a general election – but former foreign secretary Boris Johnson told BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg that would be likely to “infuriate” voters.

Brexit: No deal more likely but can be avoided – Barnier (BBC)

Meanwhile

Pic: Reuters

Tánaiste Simon Coveney meeting with Michel Barnier this morning

Tony Connelly, of RTÉ, reports:

The EU’s chief negotiator has said the Withdrawal Agreement, including the Irish backstop, was “the best deal possible” for the UK in the Brexit negotiations.

In an interview with RTÉ News, Mr Barnier dismissed reports of a bilateral arrangement between the UK and Ireland, saying the EU negotiated as one team.

Mr Barnier said the focus was now on the future relationship and the Political Declaration which sketches that relationship.

He said the EU was prepared to work again on the declaration to make it more “ambitious”.

EXCLUSIVE: Barnier insists Brexit deal is the best possible (RTE)

Pic: Tony Connelly