EU’s Juncker hopes for Brexit deal in November

08 October, 2018, 18:37 | Author: Carlos George
  • Jean-Claude Juncker

His spokesman insisted that a bad case of sciatica and cramps had been to blame.

At last month's European Union summit in Salzburg, Mr Tusk rejected Theresa May's Brexit proposals and sparked anger among some Tories with an Instagram post apparently poking fun at the prime minister and suggesting she was "cherry picking". "I will not miss it".

The United Kingdom's integrity will be preserved as part of any Brexit deal and there will be no new regulatory barriers between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK unless the province's executive agree, the Brexit ministry said on Friday.

At a press briefing in Brussels, Mr Tusk - the former prime minister of Poland - said: "In respecting our partners, we expect the same in return".

Jean-Claude Juncker nevertheless struck a more optimistic note in his interview about the Brexit negotiations, with a crucial leaders' summit less than two months away.

The UK and the European Union are still divided on how to solve the issue of the Irish border, less than two weeks before a crunch European Union summit on 17 October.

Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar arrives in Brussels to meet European Union officials later on Thursday. "I will put the issue of cyber security on the agenda of the next European Council". If all goes well, another summit will then be called for mid-November.

Simon Coveney
Irish deputy prime minister Simon Coveney

I think a cliff-edge or a no-deal scenario is something we shouldn't even contemplate.

The EU has previously had an issue with that as it fears Britain could use the special access of Northern Ireland to the bloc's single market to push goods that would not have to conform with high EU norms and could hence be sold cheaper. "I am confident given the fact that we have done a huge amount of work on the withdrawal agreement - it is about 90% complete", she told the BBC.

Requirements in European Union law, such as in Technical Specifications for Interoperability, are still likely to apply during a transition period should a deal be reached. We are not that far yet.

Asked if an exit from Brexit was still possible, Mr Juncker said: "That is in the discretion of the British Parliament and the Government".

Juncker said that the potential for a rapprochement between the two sides had grown in the last few days, echoing what diplomatic sources have told Reuters.

"But it is not possible to predict whether we will be able to conclude the talks in October".

She added: "We asserted our common position that the "backstop" as already agreed must be maintained and is the absolute bottom line for Sinn Fein, SDLP, Alliance and Green Party".

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