Trade

Brexit talks to continue after late-night bargaining

A late-nighter at the European Commissions Brussels headquarters yielded no deal, so Brexit talks will continue Wednesday morning, EU and U.K. officials said.

“The teams worked into the night and continue to make progress,” a U.K. official said. “The teams will meet again this morning.” The official added that talks were “constructive.”

Officials have suggested various deadlines for finalizing an agreement ahead of a crucial EU leaders summit that begins in Brussels on Thursday, but none of them appear inviolable.

One real deadline is a requirement now set in British law, for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to request an extension of the October 31 Brexit deadline if by October 19 — this Saturday — the British parliament has neither approved a withdrawal deal with the EU nor agreed to crash out of the EU without one.

Negotiators appear to be closing in on a deal focused on mechanisms that would effectively leave Northern Ireland obligated to abide by EU customs rules in the event that an envisioned transition period finishes at the end of December 2020 without a new EU-U.K. free-trade agreement in place.

But the continuing talks once again appear to be highlighting the conundrum that any Withdrawal Agreement acceptable to the remaining 27 EU countries is likely to contain elements unacceptable to crucial factions in the British parliament.

Leaders of the Northern Ireland Democratic Unionist Party, whose votes would be critical to getting any deal approved, met with Johnson for 90 minutes on Tuesday night, and afterward Read More – Source

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