Brexit: Draft declaration refers to Irish border technology

Austria now holds the rotating European Union presidency, and Kurz told the Austria Press Agency that his visit is meant to help the prime minister bolster support for her deal and get a realistic idea of how strong support for it is.

EU Council President Donald Tusk said the 26-page declaration encompassing issues including trade, security and the environment was agreed "in principle" and would be sent to the other 27 member states for approval.

The EU and Britain on Thursday agreed a draft declaration laying out plans for "ambitious, broad, deep and flexible" relations after Brexit, setting the stage for the divorce to be finalised at a weekend summit.

Former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab believes parliament will vote down the Prime Minister's Brexit deal next month. While Merkel refused to attend unless the deal is already sealed, French President Emmanuel Macron wants the opportunity to discuss the text himself, rather than leave it to lower-level officials, diplomats with knowledge of the discussions said.

Commission vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis said that for Sunday's summit to go ahead, "we will need to have agreed beforehand the political declaration on the future relationship and we are not there yet".

The EU has also agreed to update the divorce deal to allow a possible extension of the transition period "for up to one or two years" if needed to agree on the new future relationship.

During an appearance on BBC Radio 5 Live, Mrs May would not say whether she would resign or not if MPs fail to back her Brexit agreement.

"It is time to work for a better deal".


He added: "Sherpas are due to meet on Friday". As things stand, British banks would only be granted access to the European market if the UK's rules and regulations remain closely aligned, another example of the EU preventing Britain from forging its own destiny after Brexit.

It also says that "such facilitative arrangements and technologies will also be considered in developing any alternative arrangements for ensuring the absence of a hard border on the island of Ireland on a permanent footing".

Northern Ireland voted Remain in the Brexit referendum and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) gave a qualified response to Prime Minister Theresa May's draft withdrawal deal.

In London, May is due to address lawmakers later Thursday and hold talks with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, whose country holds the rotating European Union presidency until the end of the year.

Spain's junior minister for the EU, Luis Marco Aguiriano, said Friday that officials could tweak article 184 to make it clear that future relations between the EU and Gibraltar "will be negotiated with the United Kingdom with Spain's prior consent".

He repeated his threat that Spain will vote against the planned agreement unless its interests are taken into account.

"This is the blindfold Brexit we all feared", he said.


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