Europe Offers Britain an Olive Branch to Break Brexit Impasse

Conservative MP Priti Patel Boris Johnson’s father Stanley Johnson and sister Rachel Johnson await Boris Johnson’s speech

Theresa May will be in Brussels today and will be addressing European leaders before the pre-summit dinner is scheduled to take place.

The Financial Times reported that EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier is open to a possible one-year extension to the Brexit transition, should Mrs May accept a "two-tier" backstop.

However, she admitted there could be a gap between the end of the two-year transition and when that free trade deal is concluded.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May is desperate to make the Brexit deal work.

European Union negotiator Michel Barnier has suggested that "most checks can take place away from the border, at the company premises or in the market", but the checks in ports and airports would remain.

Quite how tough the European Union message is to May after Wednesday's dinner will depend on her approach, diplomats said.

Mrs May said the bloc has "responded positively" to Britain's backstop proposal, but has insisted it have an end date - something her ministers and the DUP have rejected.

But May, hemmed in by opponents in her own party and even in her own cabinet, has no such proposals.

If there isn't going to be significant progress from the summit this week, then why is it important?

European Council president Donald Tusk at a media conference.

Barnier calls for more time to find Brexit deal
He told the News Letter: "There are a lot of things that are being said at the moment by many people, some of them are ill-informed".

Instead, the matter could either be pushed back to December or - more dramatically - the European Union could use the November weekend to meet on preparations for a "no-deal" Brexit.

With hopes of a November summit fading, focus has turned to the next scheduled meeting of the European Council in December as the last chance to secure a deal and get it ratified by the United Kingdom and European parliaments before Britain leaves in March 2019.

The EU is considering allowing Britain to leave the EU over a longer period in return for agreeing to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland.

As for the future relationship with Britain, she said "it must always be clear that, although we want to avoid hardship, ultimately the difference between membership in the European Union and a partnership with the European Union as a third state must and will become clear".

On Twitter he said: No grounds for optimism before #Brexit #EUCO. The warning came as Mrs May appealed for loyalty from her ministers, telling them to "stand together and stand firm" to deliver Brexit.

A dog wears a banner during the "Wooferendum march" in central London where dog owners and their pets gather to demand a new Brexit referendum.

And it is all because of the Irish border issue - squaring the circle or making the impossible possible.

But a senior European official said the speech had only underscored for Barnier the uphill struggle he faces to get an agreement.

To solve the Irish question, Britain has proposed staying aligned to the EU's customs rules until a wider trade deal can be signed that avoids the need for any frontier checks.

That would give time to fully flesh out this temporary customs arrangement.

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