UK's May remains hopeful for next Brexit phase
Prime Minister Theresa May said her talks in Brussels with EU leaders on Friday took place in a “very positive atmosphere”, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.
Speaking to SkyNews after her meetings, May reiterated that the U.K. would honour its financial commitments to the EU and there is a common desire with Ireland to keep the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland as it is.
However, EU Council President Donald Tusk said there is still a “huge challenge” to move the Brexit talks to the second phase, where the future trade relations between the U.K. and the bloc will be discussed.
“Sufficient progress in Brexit talks at December [European council meeting] is possible,” Tusk tweeted.
“But still a huge challenge. We need to see progress from UK within 10 days on all issues, including on Ireland”.
Earlier this week, British premier said: “We are ready to move on to phase two to see those talks about a deep and special partnership with the EU for the future,”
Theresa May said she had set out the U.K. government’s position in her Florence speech in September, a day after she reportedly agreed with her Cabinet ministers to make a higher offer to the EU for the so-called divorce bill.
Local reports suggest the British government’s new offer will be around £40 billion ($53 billion) as the EU gave the U.K. a deadline to put on the table some concrete progress in three key issues: the financial settlement, the Irish border and citizens’ post-Brexit rights.
The EU will decide whether sufficient progress has been reached to move on to phase two in Brexit talks after debating the latest steps by the U.K. government at a December summit.
May also met German Chancellor Angela Merkel over a lunch in Brussels.
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