losangelesnewstoday.com March 18, 2018

May fails to strike Brexit border deal with Ireland

05 December 2017, 02:02 | Katrina Lee

European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker greets British PM Theresa May at the crucial Brexit meeting

European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker greets British PM Theresa May prior to a crucial Brexit meeting

The failure to seal a deal threatens to delay the progression of the Brexit negotiations to the second phase covering trade and the UK's future relationship with the European Union (EU).

A meeting on this with all political party leaders is set for lunchtime today.

Arrangements which would effectively allow Northern Ireland to remain part of the European single union would prevent the return of a "hard border" between the North and the Republic of Ireland.

This development comes ahead of May's crucial meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Monday where she will present the UK's final offer on the three main issues in the first round of Brexit talks - the Irish border, citizens' rights and the financial settlement, the Guardian reported. She said negotiators from both sides would re-enage by the end of the week.

Despite continuous efforts and growing common grounds of Britain and the European Union (EU), it was not possible to reach a complete agreement Monday, said EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in a hastily arranged press conference with visiting British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Juncker described May as a "tough negotiator", and insisted that talks had not failed. "But at this stage it is very hard to make a prediction", said an official.

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May said that "on a couple of issues some differences do remain which require further negotiation and consultation".

The EU and the United Kingdom are nearing agreement on some divorce terms, including the size of the bill that Britain must pay as it leaves and the rights of citizens affected by Brexit. But the issues of the rights of expatriate citizens and the UK-EU border on the island of Ireland defied a deal until the last minute. But then Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, which props up May's minority government, announced it wouldn't support any deal that made special rules for Northern Ireland.

Ms Foster had issued a statement warning it would not accept "any form of regulatory divergence which separates Northern Ireland economically or politically from the rest of the UK".

"And the problem between the Republic and Northern Ireland is a effect of the British decision not only to leave the EU but also the single market and the customs union".

"I still hope this matter can be concluded in the coming days", he said. "Getting closer to sufficient progress at December #EUCO".

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