Vastavam web: Britain and the EU reached a historic deal today on the terms of the Brexit divorce after Prime Minister Theresa May rushed to Brussels for early morning talks.The European Commission said it “recommends sufficient progress” had been made by Britain on separation issues including the Irish border, Britain’s divorce bill, and citizens rights.Britain voted in June 2016 to become the first state to leave the EU, after more than four decades of membership, but the talks have been slow moving and often acrimonious so far.
“The Commission is satisfied that sufficient progress has been achieved in each of the three priority areas,” the European Commission said in a statement.Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker’s chief of staff Martin Selmayr tweeted a picture of white smoke the sign used by the Vatican to signify the election of a new pope — shortly after May’s arrival.Juncker spoke first with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar then with May on Thursday night in a bid to break a deadlock over the wording of a deal on future arrangements for the Irish border.”In Northern Ireland we guarantee there will be no hard border,” May told a press conference with Juncker.
The pro-British DUP party which props up May’s government refused Monday’s draft deal over a phrase suggesting there would be “regulatory alignment” with the EU after Brexit — effectively putting Northern Ireland under EU law.On Thursday, EU Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas had dismissed British newspaper reports that the Sunday deadline could be extended into next week as “not correct”.Scotland’s nationalist leader showed little patience, accusing the British government of being “totally and utterly incompetent” on Brexit.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said “the real lesson” of the past week was that Scotland “will always be at the mercy of reckless decisions taken by Tory governments at Westminster” unless it becomes independent.Dijsselbloem, the Netherlands finance minister who chairs meetings of his counterparts in the 19-country eurozone, said that some businesses would nevertheless have to relocate.”I don’t believe that the City will fall apart and that everyone will flee. I don’t think that’s how it’s going to work,” he told a European Parliament committee.