UK PM says open to longer post-Brexit transition

UK PM says open to longer post-Brexit transition”

For all her "wittering" at the dispatch box about backstops, she "can get nothing worth having through parliament or the EU".

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, he said: "It was a very passionate argument that said the European Union was set up to defend our freedoms against totalitarianism so it was not appropriate for a club of free nations to take the attitude that someone that leaves should be punished". The shared commitments also go further, however, and include upholding the 1998 Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement and supporting north-south cooperation on the island of Ireland and the all-island economy. That agreement ended decades of sectarian strife.

Britain has proposed instead that all of the United Kingdom could stay in a customs union - but only temporarily.

The EU has suggested that a back-stop solution is to keep Northern Ireland inside a customs union with the bloc, but Britain rejects that because it would mean customs checks between Northern Ireland and the rest of the U.K. Britain has proposed instead that all of the U.K. could stay in a time-limited customs union.

The major sticking point is the Irish border. It will never be acceptable to any British government to have a hard border between one of the four nations and the mainland - especially not as the votes from the hard-line Democratic Ulster Unionists (DUP) prop up Prime Minister Theresa May's minority government in the House of Commons.

This situation also puts the Irish in a very hard situation.

Mr Barnier said that he believed the Brexit vote was fuelled in part by "nostalgia" as well as popular anger over the impact of globalisation, but said he had yet to find anyone who could explain how it would provide any answers to voters' anxieties.

EU Council President Donald Tusk said: "What I feel today is that we are closer to the final solutions and the deal".

"If Theresa May is asking for a longer transition period, she is stalling", said Tory MP Nadine Dorries.

"Politicians may be able to make late, last night decisions in rooms in the new year or in December but businesses are going to make plans long before that".

Ahead of 2019 European elections, leaders also called for a speedy follow-up on European Commission proposals to combat disinformation, pushing for an action plan for a coordinated EU response to be presented by December 2018.

Theresa May failed to make a Brexit breakthrough at the European Union summit in Brussels, but with no new major concessions confirmed and the idea of a November summit scrapped she has won some vital breathing room after a highly-pressurised few weeks.

But Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaite said there would be "no breakthrough" this week because Mrs May lacked a strong mandate from her party and parliament.

Wednesday's Brexit summit dinner in Brussels was supposed to be the "moment of truth" when states gave the green light for Brexit, say Daniel Boffey and Jennifer Rankin in the Guardian.

A effect of this would be additional checks and controls on the movement of goods into Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK. Chequers did, after all, result in the resignation of then-Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and then-Brexit Secretary David Davis.

It would also mean that Britain would lose its seat at the table where those quotas are set on an annual basis from Brexit day, leaving Scottish fisherman, who overwhelmingly backed Brexit, trapped in the CFP without any say for three and a half years.

If May loses, there would be a leadership contest with the victor becoming prime minister, without the need for new elections. As former Attorney General Dominic Grieve pointed out, the "sovereignty of Parliament" would be put at risk if MPs were prevented from amending the bill.

This leaves us with the fallout from Wednesday's bust-up.

"On 29 March, it's game over", he said. However, it would keep the United Kingdom firmly in the EU's sphere. So much for taking back control over the UK's borders, laws and money.

The suggested extension to the transition period came as European Union leaders refused to call a special summit in November to draft an exit deal, given the ongoing deadlock.

In the meantime, business still needs clarity; inward investment into the land of hope and glory is still dwindling.

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