Waiting for May, Brussels Eyes December Brexit Deal

World | November 23, 2017, Thursday // 09:46| Views: | Comments: 0
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 When Theresa May visits Brussels on Friday, EU negotiators will be listening intently for signs the British prime minister is preparing to risk a domestic backlash and raise her offer to secure a Brexit deal in DecemberReuters reports. 

European Union officials and diplomats from the other 27 member states involved in the process hope that within a week to 10 days of meeting European Council President Donald Tusk, during a summit with ex-Soviet neighbors, May will deliver movement on three key conditions so that her EU peers can launch a new phase of Brexit negotiations when they meet on Dec. 14-15.
 
“I don’t know what room for maneuver May has, but what we can see is a willingness to act,” one senior EU official told Reuters. Another spoke of efforts to arrange the “choreography” of a deal over the next three weeks, including a possible EU-UK “joint report” on interim accords to unlock talks on trade. 

“I feel the tectonic plates moving now,” a diplomat handling Brexit for an EU government said. “Time is running out and a failure in the December Council would serve nobody’s purpose.” 

There has been only a day of top-level talks between the two lead negotiators since a mid-October summit that dismissed May’s call for immediate talks on a future trade agreement. 

But talks are continuing apace behind the scenes, participants say, ahead of a deadline of early December to strike a deal which can then be fully formalized by the 27 government leaders at the summit. 

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