Published: Sat, October 20, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

UK PM reassures business leaders over Brexit

UK PM reassures business leaders over Brexit

He also reiterated his warning that there can be a return to violence in Northern Ireland as a effect of the European Union and the United Kingdom failing to reach a Brexit deal which ensures there is no hard border.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's World at One, Mr Collins said: "We were told after the 2016 referendum, during the 2017 general election and afterwards by the Government that we would take control of our waters just like any other natural resource in March 2019". "I'm convinced a deal is necessary, I'm still not sure we'll get one".

A United Kingdom source said the Prime Minister issued an appeal "to find a creative way out of this dilemma" on the Irish border and reiterated she was "fully committed to finding a legally operative backstop" that guarantees no hard border in Ireland.

On the issue of extending Britain's transition period, he said: "I'm open to the idea of an extension or a longer transition period, but that's not an alternative to a legally binding Irish backstop".

Just a month after the humiliating Salzburg summit, where her Brexit proposals were roundly dismissed by European Union leaders, Mrs May admitted there were "more hard moments" to come before agreement is reached.

Meanwhile, his Sinn Fein counterpart Michelle O'Neill said Prime Minister Theresa May had refused to hold a joint meeting with the leaders of Northern Ireland's main anti-Brexit parties.

He also signalled his support for extending the UK's Brexit transition period, saying that he welcomed any proposal that would help bring about a solution.

He says "we are in a much better mood than after Salzburg".

She subsequently said that the United Kingdom had already put forward a proposal to avoid the need for either a hard border or a customs border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

It comes after Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt urged warring Tories to get behind Mrs May's Brexit strategy following the backlash over the possibility of extending the transition period.

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Britain and the European Union say they are hopeful of progress in the next few weeks, pushing the timeline for a deal into November, or even December, when another European Union summit is scheduled.

This week's Brussels summit had been set as the deadline for a draft deal, but European Union leaders have instead been left to contemplate the potentially catastrophic scenario of Britain crashing out in March without any agreement.

The issue of Northern Ireland in these talks is a conundrum that Tusk compared to a "new version of the Gordian knot".

It would also mean that Britain would lose its seat at the table where those quotas are set on an annual basis from Brexit day, leaving Scottish fisherman, who overwhelmingly backed Brexit, trapped in the CFP without any say for three and a half years. In a recent speech, the newspaper reports that Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon called for Scotland to be allowed to stay a member of the EU's single market, should Northern Ireland obtain a special deal.

The admission will anger Brexiteers in the Conservative Party and pose a particular challenge to Scottish Conservative MPs, who have argued strongly for a swift exit from the Common Fisheries Policy.

Mrs May initially suggested an "implementation period" of around two years after Brexit, to give the UK's authorities and companies time to prepare for the new arrangements.

But Mrs May has not come forward with the new "concrete proposals" demanded by European Council president Donald Tusk, instead telling fellow leaders that "courage, trust and leadership" are needed on both sides to find a solution.

But he said she was "not against" the idea of extending the transition, a position confirmed by the European Union official.

Many EU leaders "see the delays as a negotiating tactic by London to try to force concessions", Nelson reported.

Its co-chair Richard Tice said: "The original transition was an unnecessary trap created by our weak civil servants who can not be trusted as they don't want us to leave".

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