News World As Brexit talks progress, PM May struggles to find support at home

As Brexit talks progress, PM May struggles to find support at home

British Prime Minister Theresa May was struggling on Friday to find consensus on Brexit proposals that would be acceptable to her ministers, her Conservative Party and the Northern Irish lawmakers who prop up her minority government.

Brexit negotiations with the European Union have accelerated and become more positive over the past week, though significant hurdles remain, finance minister Philip Hammond said.

“What has happened over the last week, 10 days, is that there has been a measurable change in pace,” he told the BBC.

“But that shouldn’t conceal the fact that we still have some big differences left to resolve,” Hammond said. “So process is a lot more positive this week – substance still very challenging.”

With less than six months to go until the United Kingdom is due to leave the EU, May is seeking to rally support at home on the details of a divorce deal though it is unclear if she can win parliament’s approval for any agreement.

British and EU negotiators are making headway on the Irish border issue, the biggest hurdle to an overall agreement, and hope for a Brexit deal breakthrough on Monday, diplomats said.

The Irish border “backstop”, which seeks a way to avoid customs checks on the frontier between the British province of Northern Ireland and Ireland if there is no overall exit deal, has become the biggest sticking point in negotiations.

As both sides seek to clinch a deal, the United Kingdom will publish on Friday more of its so-called technical notices which lay out the impact of a no-deal Brexit on specific sectors of the economy.

May’s Northern Irish supporters vehemently oppose any checks between the province and mainland Britain after Brexit.

The head of the Democratic Unionist Party, Arlene Foster, said May “could not in good conscience” back an EU proposal for checks on goods being imported to Northern Ireland from Britain after Brexit.

Under May’s proposals, the whole of the United Kingdom would forge a customs partnership with the EU after a transition period ends in December 2020 in the event of the backstop being triggered.

Some of May’s ministers have urged her to put a time limit on that plan.

Britain’s international trade, environment and Brexit ministers told May at a meeting on Thursday that they fear the whole of Britain could remain in the EU customs union for an open-ended period, the BBC said.

May will never agree to a backstop plan that means Britain could be permanently tied to the bloc’s customs rules, her spokeswoman said on Friday. “The prime minister would never agree to a deal which could trap the UK in a backstop permanently,” she said.

The Times newspaper reported May was warned the issue was so serious that she could face further cabinet resignations unless she found a way to ensure the backstop was not permanent.

Speaking to Northern Ireland journalists at her Downing Street office, May said on Thursday that talks on the Irish backstop were likely to continue until November.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

Man pays 22 thousand fine for trapping and killing dozens of ambelopoulia

  Α sixty three year old poacher in the Nicosia district was fined 22 thousand four hundred euro for illegally trapping and killing 68 songbirds...

26 covid patients at Famagusta General

  Twenty six patients suffering from coronavirus are currently being treated at the Famagusta General, the referral institution for covid-19, as the government is considering...

Low pressure system gradually brings rain (not weekend), as temperatures drop

  A low pressure system is gradually affecting the area, as rain is expected over the next four days, (but not the weekend) with temperatures...

Strong quake kills 24 people in Turkey and 2 in Samos

  Twenty four people were killed in Turkey and two in Greece after a strong earthquake struck the Aegean Sea on Friday, bringing buildings crashing...

166 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday

The Health Ministry announced 166 new COVID-19 cases on 30 October, out of 3,672 laboratory tests, taking confirmed infections to 4,217. The break-down of new...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...