Sterling spikes on news of UK-Ireland trade breakthrough

Dec 05, 2017, 01:59
Sterling spikes on news of UK-Ireland trade breakthrough

Ms Sturgeon said on Twitter: " If one part of United Kingdom can retain regulatory alignment with European Union and effectively stay in the single market (which is the right solution for Northern Ireland) there is surely no good practical reason why others can't".

The question of how to maintain a soft Irish border had emerged as the key sticking point to getting agreement from the European Union to move on to phase two in the Brexit negotiations.

Theresa May's attempts to make a major breakthrough in the Brexit negotiations were scuppered at the last minute by a furious Democratic Unionist Party amid concerns around the Northern Irish border.

But critics say that it would effectively move the customs border between the United Kingdom and the Republic into the Irish Sea, if the rest of the United Kingdom was not in the single market.

Britain and the European Union failed to strike a Brexit divorce deal during talks in Brussels on Monday but said they were "confident" of reaching an accord later this week.

British Prime Minister Theresa May and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker met for a crucial working lunch Monday to discuss the U.K.'s offer in the Brexit negotiations.

The issue of citizens' rights has also remained a hurdle.

Mr Juncker insisted that a deal could still be reached this week, having described Mrs May as a "tough negotiator".

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"Crucially it is clear that we want to move forward together, but on a couple of issues, differences do remain, which require further negotiation and consultation", said May before heading to meet President of the European Council Donald Tusk nearly one-hour late than scheduled.

"This is not a failure", said Juncker.

The EU and the United Kingdom are nearing agreement on some divorce terms, including the size of the bill that Britain must pay as it leaves and the rights of citizens affected by Brexit.

"Not every single question has to be answered but we need sufficient progress on these very sensitive issues". "We have common understanding on most issues". Both sides would promise to maintain compatible trading rules, keeping the border transparent for trade.

"We can not align the regulation of one part of the United Kingdom with the European Union", he said.

The Prime Minister is reliant on any support from the party as the DUP is propping up her government with its 10 MPs.

He added: "I still hope that this matter can be concluded in the coming days as agreed". "Getting closer to sufficient progress at December #EUCO".

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