Prime Minister of Ireland, Leo Varadkar, at a press conference with Finland's Prime Minister Juha Sipila at the official residence…
Prime Minister of Ireland, Leo Varadkar, at a press conference with Finland’s Prime Minister Juha Sipila at the official residence of the Prime Minister Kesaranta in Helsinki, November 7, 2018. Lehtikuva / Antti Aimo-Koivisto via REUTERS
HELSINKI (Reuters) ̵
1; Chances of sealing an agreement on Britain EU withdrawal this month is fading, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Wednesday.
EU leaders had previously penciled at a summit in mid-November to print on all Brexit agreements with London. Negotiations on both sides, however, remain unbelievable in ensuring that border controls do not return on the border between Ireland and the British province of Northern Ireland.
“I think that with every passing day, the possibility of having a special summit in November is less likely,” Varadkar told reporters after meeting Finland’s Prime Minister Juha Sipila.
“But we have a planned December 13th, so we do not get it done in November does not mean we can not get it done in the first two weeks of December. But I think beyond you the new year, which I think would not be good. “
Brussels has proposed a” backstop “arrangement as part of the revocation agreement that would ensure an open border by holding Northern Ireland within the EU Customs Union and large parts of the internal market. Britain has complained that this would create a border in the Irish Sea between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom.
Varadkar spoke to British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday and agreed that any backstop should be temporary. Can also tell him that there would be a mechanism to end it.
“For me, it’s always about the goal, more than the mechanism – what are you really trying to achieve,” Varadkar said on Wednesday. “We hope backstop never needs to be used, it’s an insurance.
Varadkar said he was willing to consider a review clause linked to the backstop, but this could not allow Britain to pull unilaterally and leave a hard border.
Varadkar is in Helsinki on two days’ congress in the European People’s Party.
Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop and Anne Kauranen, Editing of Gabriela Baczynska and David Stamp
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