Donald Tusk claims that there has been a breakthrough on Brexit

Adjust Comment Print

Business leaders from Northern Ireland have warned that a no-deal Brexit would be "catastrophic" and have urged the Democratic Unionist Party to back British Prime Minister Theresa May's agreement with Brussels.

The British Prime Minister's been meeting Jean Claude Juncker to discuss the UK's future relationship after it leaves the EU.

A spokesman for the European Commission said "very good progress" was made at May's meeting with Juncker on Wednesday. And, as a result we have given sufficient direction to our negotiators, I hope, for them to be able to resolve the remaining issues.

It says: "The future relationship will be based on a balance of rights and obligations, taking into account the principles of each party".

The EU leaders are due to meet at a summit in Brussels on Sunday to endorse both documents. The transition period only happens if the withdrawal agreement gets signed off.

"And, we don't know what the outcome of that will be".

Britain officially leaves the EU - the first country ever to do so - on March 29, 2019, but a withdrawal agreement needs to be sealed soon to leave enough time for the European Parliament and the United Kingdom parliament to endorse it.

"I think we will be better off in a situation outside the European Union where we have control of all of those things and are able to trade around the world", she said.

May also underscored the cooperation that has led to a preliminary agreement on memorandums of understanding on a set of issues of particular concern to the communities that live in and around Gibraltar, including taxation and cross-border workers.

Netanyahu announces investment in areas near Gaza after criticism
There were no official details of when or where Bennett would meet Netanyahu on Friday or what public statements if any would be made.

A Spanish government official said the dispute over Gibraltar could be resolved by modifying a single clause in the divorce agreement - though both Britain and the European Union have said the agreement won't be amended.

But the declaration does not deal with the vexed issues of fishing and Gibraltar, the British territory that sits on an outcrop of southern Spain.

Spanish officials are concerned that a key clause in the agreement referring to U.K. -EU negotiations on their future relationship makes no mention of Gibraltar.

And Mrs Merkel set her face against Tory backbench demands for Britain to have the unilateral power to tear up a proposed "backstop" arrangement for the Irish border.

A major concern throughout the negotiations has been how to maintain a free flow of goods between Northern Ireland, which is part of Britain, and the Republic of Ireland which is an European Union member.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Fabian Picardo said: "Spain doesn't need an article in the treaties, the future declaration or indeed the withdrawal deal to bring Gibraltar to the table".

If the EU approves the deal it needs to be passed by the European and British Parliaments.

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

"There isn't a majority in the House of Commons to allow that to take place".