Brexit talks im­passe was in­evitable, says Adams

Belfast Telegraph - - NEWS - BY ED CARTY

THE dead­lock in Brexit ne­go­ti­a­tions was in­evitable, Sinn Fein pres­i­dent Gerry Adams has claimed.

Mr Adams ac­cused Theresa May’s Govern­ment of be­ing un­will­ing to en­gage sub­stan­tially on the three key is­sues of the di­vorce bill, the Ir­ish border and EU ci­ti­zens’ rights.

He also called for North­ern Ire­land to be given des­ig­nated spe­cial sta­tus in the EU.

“There is a real dan­ger that the cur­rent ap­proach by the Bri­tish Govern­ment could lead to a sce­nario where no deal is reached,” he said.

“While ev­ery ef­fort must be made to per­suade the Bri­tish Govern­ment to en­gage prop­erly, the Ir­ish Govern­ment must now ur­gently ac­cept the need for the north to be des­ig­nated a spe­cial sta­tus within the EU.

“This is the only sure way of giv­ing a mea­sure of pro­tec­tion to both economies on this is­land.”

Mr Adams was speak­ing af­ter Mrs May’s hopes of an early start to trade talks with the EU suf­fered a se­ri­ous set­back, af­ter Brus­sels’ chief ne­go­tia­tor said more time was needed to thrash out a Brexit di­vorce deal first.

Michel Barnier an­nounced that he will tell lead­ers of the re­main­ing 27 EU na­tions at a sum­mit in the Bel­gian cap­i­tal next week that in­suf­fi­cient progress has been made in di­vorce talks to be able to move on to ne­go­ti­a­tions on the bloc’s post-Brexit re­la­tion­ship with Bri­tain.

His rec­om­men­da­tion makes it all but cer­tain that trade talks will be de­layed at least un­til the end of the year, and will heighten pres­sure on the Bri­tish Govern­ment to make prepa­ra­tions for a pos­si­ble “no-deal” Brexit.

Speak­ing along­side Brexit Sec­re­tary David Davis at the con­clu­sion of the fifth round of for­mal talks in Brus­sels, Mr Barnier said no “great steps for­ward” had been made this week and there re­mained a “dis­turb­ing” dead­lock over how much the UK should pay to set­tle com­mit­ments en­tered into as an EU mem­ber.

He held out the prospect of “de­ci­sive” progress in the Brexit talks by the time of the Euro­pean Coun­cil sum­mit sched­uled for De­cem­ber 14-15.

De­mands: SF leader Gerry Adams

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