Tuesday 16 October 2018

'Early morning meeting possible' as talks continue on new Brexit text

  • New text aimed at meeting Irish demands to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland
  • Brexit negotiations have stalled since Monday after DUP's refusal to back Theresa May's offer
  • New text being reviewed ahead of crucial summit of EU leaders next week
Leo Varadkar and Theresa May at a meeting earlier this year in Downing Street
Leo Varadkar and Theresa May at a meeting earlier this year in Downing Street

Shona Murray

"Progress is being made" and an early morning meeting is expected as talks on a new text aimed at meeting Irish demands to avoid a hard border after Brexit continue, a spokesman for the EU Commission has said.

The new text is currently being reviewed by the government.

Donal Tusk, president of the European Council, is expected to make a statement early on Friday morning.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the EU Commission said Jean Claude Junker discussed the situation with Mr Varadkar and Mrs May during separate phonecalls.

"We are making progress but not yet fully there.

"Early morning meeting possible with press/point thereafter," he said.

Brexit negotiations have stalled since Monday when the DUP refused to support UK Prime Minster Theresa May’s offer of a declaration to Ireland ensuring Britain would commit to protecting the Good Friday Agreement.

The DUP holds the balance of power in government in the UK.

They refused to support the agreement made between the British Prime Minister Theresa May and the EU task-force which committed Northern Ireland to keeping the same trading rules as the rest of the Europe after the UK leaves the EU.

"Matters are being considered as part of ongoing discussions involving the EU Taskforce, the Irish government and the British government", a spokesperson from the Irish government told Independent.ie.

In addition, president of the European Council, Donald Tusk is due to give a press conference in Brussels at 06.50 Irish time tomorrow morning.

A crucial summit of EU leaders is taking place in Brussels next Thursday and Friday.

They will decide whether the UK has reached “sufficient progress” to move on to the next phase of Brexit talks.

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