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

Larnaca Airport reopens Tuesday with flights to Athens, Sofia, Tel Aviv

  Larnaca Airport reopens on Tuesday with five arrivals and five departures to and from Athens, Sofia and Tel Aviv as Cyprus takes a further...

Two women in custody in €1.3 m forged payment orders case

  Two women, an accountant and an assistant accountant at a Limassol firm, were remanded in custody for eight days on Saturday as police investigate...

Anastasiades: Aggressive Turkey should be stripped of EU candidate status

  Ιf Turkey doesn't dial down its aggression in the Eastern Mediterranean, it should lose its status as a candidate for EU accession, President Nicos...

Suspected burglar arrested, valuables found

  A burglary suspect first attempted to avoid arrest but later informed police about a hiding place where they found jewellery and watches. Police said that...

86.5% of Cyprus’ coronavirus cases have recovered (infographics)

  A total of 808 of Cyprus' 958 coronavirus cases -- or 86.5% have recovered according to the latest update released by the Health Ministry...

Taste

Poulles (Υoung kolokassi)

Either you thrash the coriander seeds in a mortar, without making them into dust, or you gradually crush them in a blender. Remove the edges...

Pork cooked in wine

Crush the coriander seeds in a pestle and mortar or pulse-blend in a blender, taking care not to over-grind. Put the meat in bowl (not...

Lefkaritikos tavas – O ‘protinos’

Wash and dry the meat and rice separately. In a ‘tava’ (oven proof deep clay pot) first put a layer of five-six pieces of meat...

Local cuisine: An introduction

Rich in fresh ingredients and tasty herbs, offers the very best of Mediterranean culinary delights. Head out to a tavern and feast on a...