U.K.’s Brexit talks with EU take a dramatic turn

Britain’s Brexit talks with the EU took another dramatic turn over the weekend as — faced with growing opposition from within her own party ranks, some Cabinet ministers and Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party — Prime Minister Theresa May rejected terms of a deal being negotiated by her own officials on which agreement was close to being reached. The particular point of contention was the time-length of a temporary customs union that would act as a backstop to prevent a hard border coming into force between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland once Britain leaves the EU. Ms. May is due to give a statement to Parliament. Pressure has been piling on her in recent weeks. On Sunday, former Brexit Secretary David Davies called for Cabinet members to “exert their collective authority” and oppose Mrs. May’s Chequers plan for a softer version of Brexit, while 63 Conservative MPs signed a letter to the Chancellor Philip Hammond accusing the government of misrepresenting the dangers of the economic impact of a no-deal scenario. Over the weekend, reports suggested that Cabinet members, including Andrea Leadsom, Leader of the House of Commons, could resign from their position if the government’s Brexit plan weren’t hardened, in particular ensuring that any backstop on Northern Ireland was not indefinite as was being proposed by the EU. Wider campaign The latest move by Mrs. May appears sufficient to have halted any internal rebellion at least temporarily but could re-invigorate the wider campaign within a section of the Conservative Party to drop her Chequers plan. It also leaves the EU negotiations in tatters ahead of a key summit of EU leaders on Wednesday. Whether EU leaders agree that sufficient progress has been made to warrant further talks in November remains to be seen. Without this, and with less than six months to go till Britain is set to leave, chances of a no-deal Brexit continue to rise.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-international/uks-brexit-talks-with-eu-take-a-dramatic-turn/article25232121.ece

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