UK PM meets Macron ahead of Brexit talks

Mr Coveney was in Luxembourg today where he met with the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier

Mr Coveney was in Luxembourg today where he met with the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier

Prime Minister Theresa May is due in Brussels later in the day to address the other 27 EU leaders on the stalled negotiations towards a divorce deal to bring Britain out of the Union.

Ahead of Wednesday's meeting, European Council President Donald Tusk said a no-deal scenario is "more likely than ever" before the U.K.is scheduled to leave the EU in March 2019.

"I am sure that this is the last thing Boris wants". "For a breakthrough we need new facts". Anyone hoping she was about to jet off to Brussels with the solutions that would break the Brexit deadlock will have been left fretting after this showing: the prime minister is floundering.

And he asked the PM to confirm Treasury legal advice to Cabinet that the Government would have to pay the European Union a "divorce bill" of £30 billion even if no Brexit deal was secured.

May's cabinet have told her they will not accept either an indefinite backstop - or one that leaves Northern Ireland in a different regulatory regime.

It's also thought that May agreed that there can not be a time limit on the Northern Ireland backstop, as agreed last December as an insurance policy.

The prime minister told the Commons she would expect it to expire in December 2021 but added she does not want to see the backstop having to be used at all.

- That any agreement must ensure that the United Kingdom is not kept indefinitely in a backstop arrangement against its will. She can not risk conceding too much to Brussels as the integrity of her Cabinet is at risk.

May will rejoin her European Union counterparts on Thursday as the focus shifts to a summit with Asian leaders, including China's Premier Li Keqiang and the prime ministers of Japan, South Korea and Russian Federation.

But two of those present at the "pizza summit" in the office of Andrea Leadsom played down suggestions of rebellion against the Prime Minister.




French finance minister Bruno Le Maire optimistically declared "we are not far from a deal" on the morning of the summit.

Mrs May replied: "We've been very clear throughout the negotiations in relation to the financial settlement that led to the figure of around £39 billion following the December joint report, that this is a country that honours its legal obligations and we will do exactly that". I remain confident of a good outcome.

A deal was even reached between civil servants from the two sides, but it fell apart when Brexit secretary Dominic Raab met EU Brexit chief Michel Barnier on Sunday.

Ministers arriving for Cabinet on Tuesday morning were offered sausage and bacon sandwiches.

Mrs May will give the other 27 Council member states an update on negotiations on Wednesday.

"She said we will keep under consideration the issue of the transition period but she did not say anything in favour or against the three-year period".

"Today we do not know what they want", she said.

Mr Roth made clear that Germany is alive to the problems Mrs May could face in getting any deal through Parliament, telling reporters: "I have the impression that it is hard to secure the appropriate parliamentary majority in Great Britain".

The Prime Minister responded by saying the Government would take "the needs of the British economy" into account when considering future immigration policies.

Protesters will begin assembling from midday on Saturday on Park Lane in central London before descending onto Parliament Square where speakers will deliver in support of a People's Vote from 2pm onwards.

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