Monday, 4 December 2017

UK and EU fail to strike Brexit talks deal, says prime minister Theresa May

The UK and EU have failed to reach an agreement to move to the next stage of Brexit talks, Theresa May has said.

The prime minister said differences remain on a "couple of issues".

She said talks would reconvene "before the end of the week" and she was "confident we will conclude this positively".

The BBC's Laura Kuenssberg said the deal had been "sunk" by the DUP, which reacted angrily to reports of concessions on the Irish border issue.

Mrs May is understood to have broken off from talks with European Commission President Jean Claude Junker to speak to DUP leader Arlene Foster.
This was after Ms Foster had said her party "will not accept any form of regulatory divergence" that separates Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK.

"During the call it was made plain to the PM that the DUP had significant concerns about the deal being discussed that gave concessions to the Dublin government," the BBC's political editor said.

"I understand Foster told Theresa May that she would not be able to support such a deal. It's been suggested too that there are 20 or so Conservative MPs who had serious misgivings about the compromises that were understood to be on the table."

The UK was reportedly prepared to accept that Northern Ireland may remain in the EU's customs union and single market in all but name. The DUP's support is vital to the government being able to survive at Westminster and pass their Brexit legislation.

BBC         News.