Brexit Breakthrough On The Rise
Although officials on both sides have warned that obstacles still stand in the way of Brexit, the United Kingdom and European Union are close to hammering out the sticking points. EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said that a deal is within reach, and officials in Brussels and London said some progress was being made in intense negotiations.
“It’s too early to be putting the champagne on ice. We’ve got a fair way to go still. There are still differences between our position and that of the European Commission, but we’re working very hard to overcome them.” Prime Minister Theresa May’s de-facto deputy, David Lidington.
The UK and EU had provisionally agreed on the four “divorce” issues: 1) How much the UK owes the EU, 2) What happens to the Northern Ireland border, 3) What happens to UK citizens living elsewhere in the EU, and 4) How to avoid having a physical Northern Ireland border.
The main conflict, however, is how to keep the Irish border open after Brexit. The Irish border issue is known as the backstop because the decision on this issue will determine whether the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic will remain open.
The Telegraph reported that UK and EU officials have agreed on a backstop that would keep the UK in a customs union with the EU until a permanent trade deal is brokered. While another UK official pushed back against the report, saying nothing has been agreed yet.
London has warned that the single electricity market shared between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic may cease if Britain fails to agree on a divorce deal. Britain warned on Friday that leaving the EU without a deal would mean drugmakers would need to stockpile experimental treatments in case of border delays.
The best case scenario is that a decision will be made, making way for a successful European summit on Wednesday. So far, UK and Brussels are close to agreeing on Brexit deal. Theresa May reportedly briefed her inner cabinet that a historic Brexit deal is close. D’Alessio Law Group is closely monitoring all Brexit related news and will provide updates as they become available.