cloudyn.png
Tuesday December 10th, 2019 7:44PM

EU sees hope in Brexit talks; Irish leader sees wide gaps

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

BRUSSELS (AP) — Despite having only days to bridge wide divisions over Brexit, the European Union maintained a semblance of hope Wednesday that the acrimonious fight over Britain's departure from the bloc could somehow still be settled amicably.

Across the European Parliament, voices resonated with frustration that one of the most important events for both the EU and the U.K. in decades had turned into a tone-deaf dialogue only three weeks ahead of Britain's planned Oct. 31 departure.

EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said he was working together with EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier on a last-gasp solution.

"Personally, I don't exclude a deal. Michel and myself are working on a deal," Juncker said.

He refused to be more specific but made clear that Brexit talks between the two sides haven't come to an irreparable standstill.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has vowed to take Britain out of the EU on Oct. 31 with or without a divorce deal. The British parliament has demanded that Johnson ask for an extention from the EU if he can't get a Brexit deal. If Britain did leave, it would be the first EU nation to exit the bloc, ending almost half a century of U.K. membership that brought economic and diplomatic clout to both sides.

For now, Juncker insisted Johnson needed to stop pouring all the blame on the EU for the negotiating standstill over Brexit.

"We are not accepting this blame game that started in London," he said.

Johnson, who took office in July after British lawmakers rejected the Brexit deal of his predecessor Theresa May three times, delivered his own Brexit proposals to the bloc last week. Britain is seeking to renegotiate the Brexit divorce deal to make sure there is no hard border between the Republic of Ireland and the U.K.'s Northern Ireland.

Barnier, however, said those ideas were fundamentally flawed in how they handled the land border on the island of Ireland and also rejected giving regional authorities in Northern Ireland a veto on how to proceed.

Johnson's proposals crossed so many of the EU's red lines, Barnier said, Johnson would need to fundamentally revamp his proposals, something the British leader has said he will not do.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said Ireland can't accept a Brexit deal at any cost.

"It's going to be very difficult to secure an agreement by next week, quite frankly," Varadkar told Irish broadcaster RTE late Tuesday after a 40-minute phone call with Johnson.

"Essentially what the United Kingdom has done is repudiate the deal that we negotiated in good faith with Prime Minister (Theresa) May's government over two years and have sort of put half of that now back on the table and are saying, 'That's a concession'. And, of course, it isn't really," said the Irish leader.

Johnson's office claimed Tuesday that EU intransigence had led to a breakdown in negotiations.

The U.K. said, however, that it still hopes to strike a deal. Johnson and Varadkar are expected to meet in person later this week.

The Times of London reported Wednesday that five Cabinet ministers in Johnson's Conservative government are threatening to resign if the government adopts a no-deal Brexit as its central policy.

___

Follow AP's full coverage of Brexit and British politics at https://www.apnews.com/Brexit

___

Lawless reported from London

___

This story has been corrected to show that the Irish prime minister's last name is Varadkar, not Varadkhar.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, AP Business, AP Business - Economy
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
EU sees hope in Brexit talks; Irish leader sees wide gaps
The European Union is maintaining a semblance of hope that the acrimonious fight over Britain's departure from the bloc could somehow still be settled amicably
12:12PM ( 3 minutes ago )
The Latest: California power outages have many scrambling
Residents of Sonoma in California's wine country are swarming to the few businesses opened in the town's square amid a power outage expected to last for days
12:08PM ( 7 minutes ago )
The Latest: Monitor says at least 1 Kurdish fighter killed
A Syrian war monitor and a Kurdish activist collective say Turkish bombardment of northern Syria has killed at least one member of the Kurdish-led force
12:06PM ( 9 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Trump defends Syria move, doesn't want US troops in Mideast
President Donald Trump is defending his decision to pull back U.S. troops from northeastern Syria, saying he's focused on the "BIG PICTURE!"
11:36AM ( 39 minutes ago )
The Latest: EU chief says he's seeking Brexit breakthrough
European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker says he is working with EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier to find a way to end a stalemate with Britain's government over a Brexit agreement
11:19AM ( 56 minutes ago )
The Latest: NATO chief says Turkey has legitimate concerns
The secretary-general of NATO is urging Turkey not to "further destabilize the region" through its military action in northern Syria
11:16AM ( 59 minutes ago )
AP National News
The Latest: EU official calls on Turkey to halt Syria attack
A top European Union official is calling on Turkey to halt its military operation in northern Syria and is warning that the EU will not be paying to help Ankara set up any safe zone there
10:24AM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Kurdish official says Turkey targeting civilians
A spokesman for the U.S.-backed Kurdish-led force in northern Syria says Turkish warplanes have started targeting "civilian areas" in northern Syria
10:12AM ( 2 hours ago )
Ukrainian police officer injured in protest in war-torn east
A Ukrainian television station is reporting that at least one police officer has been injured in scuffles between police and activists who have arrived to the frontline in eastern Ukraine to protest against the pullback of government forces
10:09AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online National News
US job openings slip 1.7% in August as labor market slows
US job openings slip 1.7% in August as labor market loses momentum
11:03AM ( 1 hour ago )
Boris Johnson's father joins climate protesters in London
The father of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has joined climate protesters in London, after his son urged the demonstrators to pack up their tents and leave
10:35AM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Germany sticking to its position on Brexit
Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman says Germany hasn't changed its stance on Brexit and still intends to work "until the last possible point" to secure an orderly British withdrawal from the European Union
10:34AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
The Latest: California power outages have many scrambling
Residents of Sonoma in California's wine country are swarming to the few businesses opened in the town's square amid a power outage expected to last for days
12:08PM ( 7 minutes ago )
The Latest: Monitor says at least 1 Kurdish fighter killed
A Syrian war monitor and a Kurdish activist collective say Turkish bombardment of northern Syria has killed at least one member of the Kurdish-led force
12:06PM ( 9 minutes ago )
A year after Michael, Florida community still in crisis
A year after Hurricane Michael, Bay County, Florida, is still in crisis
12:05PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Power outages begin in California amid hot, windy weather
Millions of people in California woke up in the dark Wednesday after Pacific Gas & Electric started shutting off power to prevent what the utility called an unprecedented wildfire danger
12:04PM ( 12 minutes ago )
The Latest: Germany condemns Turkey offensive into Syria
Germany's foreign minister is condemning Turkey's offensive in northern Syria and called on Ankara to end the military action, saying it threatened "a further humanitarian catastrophe and further displacement of persons."
11:55AM ( 20 minutes ago )