Theresa May meets with EU leaders, hoping for Brexit breakthrough – National

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British Prime Minister Theresa Might reopened talks with the European Union leaders on the Brexit settlement on Thursday and was bracing for a conflict with senior EU officers throughout a day of divorce negotiations.

Might was welcomed by European Fee Jean-Claude Juncker in a glum, stiff handshake ceremony that underscored the simmering rigidity between the U.Ok. and the opposite 27 EU member states.

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With the deliberate departure date of March 29 closing in, Might is predicted to be stonewalled by the EU officers in relation to reopening the authorized withdrawal settlement which was already endorsed in November earlier than the U.Ok. Parliament overwhelmingly rejected it.

The hole between each side was already yawning, however European Council President Donald Tusk exacerbated the frosty local weather on Wednesday by questioning aloud what “particular place in hell” may be reserved for individuals who backed Brexit whereas having no concept of the way to ship it.

Highlighting the sensitivities, a public welcome look on digicam between Might and Tusk was out of the blue cancelled, hours earlier than the encounter.

British Prime Minister Theresa Might (L) is welcomed by European fee President Jean-Claude Juncker (R) forward to a gathering on Brexit in Brussels, Belgium, 07 February 2019. 

And as an alternative of jovial kisses, as is commonly his wont, Juncker held out his hand for Might to shake and shortly ushered her off into his places of work, with one reporter shouting at her “Is that this hell, prime minister?”

U.Ok. officers mentioned Might’s main concern was to not be “trapped” right into a controversial backstop system to keep away from prolonged checks on the Irish border which may see Britain linked to the EU in a customs union for an indefinite time.

Might will nonetheless be searching for adjustments within the 585-page legally-binding withdrawal settlement, one thing which the 27 different EU leaders proceed to vehemently oppose.

WATCH: EU chief Tusk says there’s a ‘particular place in hell’ for no-plan Brexiteers

Might insists that “different preparations” will be discovered, however EU officers have been ready for weeks for London to spell out what they’re.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar mentioned Wednesday majority in favor of these preparations most likely “solely exists as a result of different preparations can imply what you need them to imply.”

“Maybe it’s for individuals who have created these issues to be a bit artistic now,” he added.

In London, there was some momentum from the opposition.

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The chief of the Labour Celebration wrote to Might spelling out what he desires in trade for backing the federal government’s Brexit plan.

Within the letter, Jeremy Corbyn once more demanded everlasting British membership in a customs union, which Might has repeatedly dominated out.

Corbyn informed the prime minister she gained’t win his backing solely by successful concessions from the EU on the contentious Irish border concern.

The Labour chief mentioned he’s looking for “alignment with the union customs code, a typical exterior tariff and an settlement on business coverage that features a U.Ok. say on future EU commerce offers.”

Corbyn’s place is disappointing some Labour Celebration legislators who had hoped he would again requires a second referendum on the Brexit course of.

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