Irish foreign minister says Brexit border breakthrough possible on Monday

Irish foreign minister says Brexit border breakthrough possible on Monday

The EU has had "enough time now to decide whether or not they are going to discuss trade with us, they need to get on with it and if they don't get on with it the closer we get to walking away with no deal", she said. "It is now getting very tight but agreement at December EU summit is still possible", Tusk said on Twitter.

Still unresolved however is the thorny topic of the Irish border however, with a source telling the paper how "work is needed to find a formula to satisfy Ireland".

The EU has said it will allow negotiations on the Britain's future trade relations with the EU to begin only when there has been sufficient progress on these separation issues.

"This is not a failure".

After 18 months of phoney war - of talking, positioning and negotiating behind the scenes - the rickety craft of Theresa May's Brexit strategy briefly took flight yesterday, and then promptly nose-dived back to earth.

May said differences remained on a "couple of issues".

Summit chair Donald Tusk said on Monday he had been planning to distribute his draft negotiating guidelines to member states on Tuesday, had the European Union executive's negotiator Michel Barnier given the crucial signal that Britain had made "sufficient progress" on three key elements of the divorce.

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"Hopefully we'll find a way forward today", he said.

For anyone who slept through Monday, the deadline set by the EU27 for the United Kingdom to make "sufficient progress" on the three key article 50 issues - the financial settlement, citizens' rights and the Irish border - in order to move on to phase two of the Brexit talks passed - and in fairly dramatic fashion.

Ireland has called on Britain to provide details of how it will ensure there is no "regulatory divergence" after Brexit in March 2019 that would require physical border controls.

In Germany, Stefanie Bolzen and Hannelore Crolly of the centre-right Die Welt say events have "taken a risky turn" for Mrs May, despite EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker's insistence that the talks were "not a failure".

"I am surprised and disappointed that the British government now appears not to be in a position to conclude what was agreed earlier today", Varadkar said at a press conference in Dublin.

Asked about the findings, the Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "We've set out a series of clear staging posts on the way to delivering on the will of the British people".

Finnish MEP Petri Sarvamaa said that the European Union is "in a very hard position because it would not be in our interests to see the whole thing fall apart", but "at the same time ... it's not our duty to help the British government in a negotiation that is between them and us".

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