What it all means
The fundamental stumbling block has not been removed. The EU wants the issues of Northern Ireland, the divorce bill and citizens’ rights resolved before we move to trade talks.
The UK says decisions on Northern Ireland and the divorce bill are integral to any deal on our future trading relationship and should be discussed in tandem.
For example, the status of Northern Ireland’s border with the Republic has a direct bearing on the new customs arrangement between the UK and EU.
To complicate matters, there is no clear opinion within the Cabinet on what the final deal should look like. There are divisions on how long we stay in the single market and customs union, what we replace them with and on what terms. Much will depend on next week’s summit of EU leaders.
Michel Barnier says he is not in a position to recommend talks move on to trade.
But he hopes “decisive progress” will be made before the December summit.
Mr Barnier reportedly asked EU leaders for permission to move to trade talks but was rebuffed by Germany.
The UK and Brussels remain at loggerheads on the issue of EU citizens’ rights. Britain is resisting demands for the 3.2 million EU nationals here to remain under EU law and have the right to vote.
The official leaving date for Brexit is March 31, 2019, but we need to reach a deal by Autumn 2018 at the latest.
That is because any agreement has to be approved by the remaining 27 member states and the EU parliament.
Businesses are also pressing for a speedy resolution. Airlines are starting to plan their routes for 2019 and need to know if the UK will still be covered by the European Aviation Safety Agency. Manufacturers need to make longterm investment decisions and will not do so in a climate of uncertainty.
Banks will start to move their HQS to the EU if there is no agreement on financial services.
The longer it takes to get a deal, the more damage is done to the UK economy.
Not really. Theresa May wants a transition period of about two years to give us time after March 2019 to adapt to the changes of Brexit. But the transition is not an extension to the negotiations. This means we have to reach an agreement on the divorce bill, EU citizens, Northern Ireland, membership of various EU agencies, police and security arrangements, market access, customs and financial and manufacturing regulations before we enter the transition phase.
Economic disaster. Britain would be forced into World Trade Organisation rules which impose tariffs of 10% on cars and up to 40% on agricultural products.
Tax receipts would fall by £45billion and GDP could slump by 7.8%, according to some studies.
Lorries would be backed up on both sides of the Channel as they await customs checks. Airlines would not be granted safety certificates to fly. EU citizens in Britain and UK citizens in the EU would be in legal limbo.
The Northern Ireland peace process would be thrown into doubt as it would mean a hard border with the Republic. this subject. We confined ourselves to technical discussions – useful discussions, but technical discussions.
“On this question we have reached a state of deadlock which is very disturbing for thousands of project promoters in Europe and it’s disturbing for taxpayers.”
But, speaking during a tour of the North West, the PM hit back: “There has actually been good progress made in these talks and Michel Barnier himself has recognised that over the coming weeks we will be able to make constructive progress as well.” Boris Johnson said it was time to “put a bit of a tiger in the tank” of Brexit talks.
The Foreign Secretary added: “Deadlock? Let’s wait and see. We have put a good offer out there, let’s see how we get on in the October European Council going forward to Christmas.
“I remain very optimistic about the talks and the progress that can be made.
“As for getting ready for no deal, I think the Prime Minister has made it very, very clear that we are going to get a deal, we are working for a great deal but, obviously, we must make the right preparations as and when it is necessary for a no-deal scenario.”
In an increasing game of brinkmanship, Brexit Secretary David Davis piled pressure on EU leaders to back talks next week on the future relationship.
He said the EU “must talk about the future” to give certainty to the UK, Europe, business and consumers.
Mr Davis added: “I hope the leaders of the 27 will provide Michel with the means to explore ways forward with us on that and build on the spirit of co-operation we now have.” In Florence last
Have we got extra time? What happens if there is no deal?
Why is speed of the essence?