Brexit: EU, UK revive hopes for deal after 'constructive' meeting


Barnier's meeting with ambassadors was still going on, but officials with knowledge of the talks said that the 27 other European Union countries had responded positively.

UK Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay, left, shakes hands with European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier before their meeting at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Friday, Oct. 11, 2019.

With the British Parliament and government both rejecting the withdrawal treaty negotiated by Theresa May, and the European Union rejecting a rehash of the treaty with some alternative arrangements for the customs border between EU member-state the Republic of Ireland and the British province of Northern Ireland put forward by Boris Johnson, the United Kingdom is now headed for a clean break with the bloc - or, if anti-Brexit MPs have their way, yet another Brexit delay.

"The key thing is we have to have regard to the Good Friday Agreement and have regard to the need to have a cross-community approach to how we resolve this", he said.

With the Irish backstop being one of the main issues of the former Prime Minister's Brexit deal, Johnson met with his Irish counterpart Leo Varadkar, 40, recently with both in agreement a "pathway to a possible deal" is now on the horizon. The pair are attempting to strike a deal before the proposed Brexit date of October 31.

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Speaking to reporters at the airport, Varadkar later said the meeting was "very positive", suggesting it would be a "short pathway, rather than a long one". Negotiations are underway, with apparent goodwill on both sides.

"A no-deal Brexit will never be the choice of the EU", Tusk said.

The challenge of keeping this border invisible - something that has underpinned both the local economy and the region's peace deal - has dominated Brexit discussions for three years, ever since the United Kingdom voted in 2016 to leave the EU.

One way to do that could be to extend the October 31 deadline so that negotiators have more time to work things out in legally-binding detail. If it is time for the sake of time?

As the hosts noticed similarities between the current deal and what the former Prime Minister had said before her deal was defeated twice, they asked Williamson what the differences were.