European Union leaders 'almost unanimous' for second Brexit vote: Malta PM

Remigio Civitarese
Settembre 20, 2018

Amid reports that she had taken a tough line on the negotiations, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Thursday that May had been "interesting" and "polite". "There is no progress", Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite told Reuters after the dinner.

The EU negotiator confirmed, as had been suggested earlier this week, that Brussels was working on a new plan to solve the conundrum of the Irish border.

In an interview with the Daily Express, she said, 'My answer to the People's Vote is that we've had the people's vote - it was the referendum - and now we should deliver on it.

But she added: "I think for me to become an enthusiastic advocate of that I would need some assurance that Scotland won't simply find itself in the same position all over again where Scotland votes to stay but the rest of the United Kingdom votes to leave and Scotland ends up being taken against their will".

The Prime Minister has said that she intends to "take back control" over the country's borders and laws which aligns with a hard Brexit.

"My experience so far within the context of the EU Council is that, irrespective of one's political allegiances, there is a lot of respect [for UK Prime Minister Theresa May]", Muscat said in an interview with BBC Radio 4.

It's the first full gathering of the EU28 since May unveiled her Chequers plan - named after her country residence where it was presented to ministers - in July.

A British government source said London welcomed the EU's commitment to finding a solution to the border issue, but could not accept any proposal that would effectively move the customs frontier into the Irish Sea.

There are fears it could take an hour to process a lorry after Brexit
There are fears it could take an hour to process a lorry after Brexit

Muscat is now in Salzburg with the leaders of the other 27 European Union member states, where the next stage of the Brexit process is set to be considered.

European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier waits for the start of a General Affairs Article 50 Council at the Europa building in Brussels, Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018.

Pro-Brexit members of May's Conservative Party also oppose her deal, saying it would keep Britain tethered to the bloc, with no say over its rules and unable to strike new trade deals around the world.

"Despite the talk of "improvements" the backstop being insisted upon by the European Union would mean a different regime for Northern Ireland compared to the rest of the U.K", he said.

French prime minister Emmanuel Macron said: "We have very clear principles about the integrity of the single market and regarding the Irish border".

The Prime Minsiter will hold talks with both Irish premier Leo Varadkar and Mr Tusk in the margins of the Salzburg summit.

May promised new proposals to reassure Dublin that it would not end up with a "hard border" with the British province of Northern Ireland but warned that she too could live with a no-deal outcome - though many around the summit in Salzburg do not believe that that is a credible threat.

"I wouldn't want a Brexit that's the Chequers deal, I just don't want that - it's not what I voted for". "We will see whether an agreement is in reach at that moment based on a subjective evaluation which I will be submitting in reporting to the European leaders on the state of negotiations".

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