UK PM Mulls Longer Transition as EU Demands Brexit Progress
Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed Thursday she was open to extending a Brexit transition period if it helped unblock negotiations, after EU leaders repeated that Britain must do more to avoid crashing out of the bloc without a deal, reports AFP.
EU negotiator Michel Barnier suggested the extension as a way of breaking the deadlock on how to keep Britain's border with Ireland open after Brexit, which is holding up the whole divorce agreement.
But a source in the French presidency warned this may not resolve the problem, while May also faces opposition to the idea from her eurosceptic MPs at home.
This week's Brussels summit had been set as the deadline for a draft deal, but EU leaders have instead been left to contemplate the potentially catastrophic scenario of Britain crashing out in March without any agreement.
Arriving for a second day of talks, May noted that both sides remained at odds over a "backstop" plan to avoid frontier checks with Ireland if and until a new trade deal could be signed that resolves the issue.
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