EU's Barnier hopes Brexit deal possible in 'coming weeks'

EU's Barnier hopes Brexit deal possible in 'coming weeks'

European Council president Donald Tusk said he had "no grounds for optimism" ahead of the meeting.

DUP Brexit spokesman Sammy Wilson said "it is probably inevitable that we will end up with a no-deal scenario" because there was no agreement that would be accepted by Britain's Parliament.

The European Union wants the United Kingdom to agree a "backstop" or fallback position that would ensure an open border between Northern Ireland, which will be outside the EU, and the Republic of Ireland, which will remain an EU member state.

British and European foreign ministers insisted Monday there is still time to negotiate an orderly Brexit deal, even after the disappointing failure of the latest round of talks. The sticking point remains the thorny issue of the Irish border.

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The U.K.is set to leave the European Union on March 29, 2019.

Expectations are mounting that Theresa May is ready to make some major concessions to the European Union - in exchange for superficial and presentational ones in return - to secure a deal, likely largely on the basis of the exit terms and backstop agreed in December, with the future trading relationship left somewhat vague.

On Monday evening, eight of May's most eurosceptic Cabinet ministers - including Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab - held a separate meeting in the office of Andrea Leadsom, prompting speculation of a caucus forming intent of shifting the Government's Brexit position.

Britain agreed to remove checkpoints along the border in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement - a deal struck among London, Dublin and most political parties and armed factions in Northern Ireland that brought peace to Northern Ireland after decades of deadly violence known locally as "the Troubles".

"We are not where we should be to find an agreement in Irish issue in Brexit talks", Juncker said for French newspapers Le Monde on Friday, October 12, indicating that the time to reach the Brexit agreement will have to be made between next week's meeting and possible November Brexit summit.

After being destabilized and threatened to be toppled for many months by extreme Brexiteers, the British Prime Minister seems to have regained control of the party.

"The problem is clear it is still the Irish question and the problem of the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

At the moment it looks more hard", Merkel said, adding "we'll just have to keep negotiating".

But Mr Tusk said they would need to believe that a deal was almost done - and without some new move from Mrs May today, that belief seems unlikely to come this week.

No 10 said cabinet members also endorsed May's call to "maintain the integrity of the union" between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which the prime minister had told the Tuesday morning meeting was under threat by the EU's proposed version of the backstop. "We have been clear that we can not agree to anything that threatens the integrity of our United Kingdom", May said.

A Cabinet source said yesterday that despite May's refusal to give in to European Union demands, ministers were very anxious by what she said to the House of Commons earlier that day, telling BI: "Pizza club should be interesting tonight".

While supporters of Brexit have so far dominated the debate within the Conservative Party, there were calls from members of its pro-EU wing to avoid a hard exit and retain numerous benefits membership of the bloc brings the UK.

This year, the government suggested Britain could apply the EU's external tariffs for a limited period in case of any delay in implementing a Brexit deal.

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