Boris Johnson and Leo Varadkar have agreed there is a “pathway to a possible Brexit deal”, surprising sceptical EU officials with their upbeat assessment after more than three hours of private talks. The British prime minister hosted his Irish counterpart at a country house in the north-west of England for talks on Thursday that had been expected to break down. But when the pair emerged from discussions they painted a more optimistic picture, suggesting the Brexit logjam could be broken by the end of the month. The pair issued a positive joint statement, although Varadkar said afterwards that while he believed the outline of a deal would be possible in time for the crunch summit of EU leaders next week, serious challenges remained and there was “many a slip between cup and lip”. The relatively warm words from the taoiseach came just days after he said finding an agreement would be “very difficult”, suggesting Johnson would have to move on the issue … [Read more...] about Boris Johnson and Leo Varadkar say they ‘see pathway’ to Brexit deal
The Pound was hovering at its highest levels for months today amid rising optimism over a Brexit deal. Amid a frantic last push for an agreement, sterling was near its peak since the summer against the US dollar, at over 1.26. Meanwhile, it was above 1.146 versus the euro - rates not seen since May. Michel Barnier and Steve Barclay fuelled hopes that a Brexit deal is close this morning as they insisted it is 'very possible' to seal a package for a crunch EU summit this week. In his most positive comments for days, Mr Barnier insisted the 'difficult' process could be completed. Sterling was above 1.146 versus the euro today amid rising Brexit deal hopes - rates not seen since May Amid a frantic last push for an agreement, the Pound was near its peak since the summer against the US dollar, at over 1.26 Arriving to brief EU ministers in Luxembourg, he said: 'Reaching an agreement is still possible. Obviously, any agreement must work for all, the whole of the UK and the whole of the … [Read more...] about Pound hits highest level in FIVE MONTHS against euro and spikes versus US dollar amid mounting optimism about Brexit deal
Amber Rudd today blamed the 'sexism' of male Tory MPs for Theresa May's failure to get her Brexit deal through. The former Cabinet minister said she had been 'disappointed' by the way Mrs May had been 'forced out by a group of men'. And she predicted that any agreement Boris Johnson brings back from Brussels will be passed even though it will be 'similar'. The bruising accusations against the Eurosceptic ERG group of Tory MPs came in an interview on BBC Radio 5 Live. But ERG chair Steve Baker dismissed the PM's gender as 'irrelevant', saying he had always been willing to vote for a 'tolerable' deal. Ms Rudd campaigned for Remain in the 2016 referendum, famously swiping during a TV debate that Mr Johnson was 'not the man you want to drive you home at the end of the evening'. She served in Mrs May's Cabinet and was kept on as Work and Pension Secretary by Mr Johnson this summer. Amber Rudd told BBC Radio 5 Live (pictured) she had been 'disappointed' by the way Theresa May had … [Read more...] about Amber Rudd says Theresa May’s Brexit deal failed because Tory MPs are SEXIST – saying she expects Boris Johnson’s ‘similar’ plan will be passed
brexit countdown_bg Created with Sketch. Michel Barnier dramatically upped the stakes in the Brexit end game today as he set a midnight deadline for the EU and UK to have agreed a divorce deal. Downing Street has refused to sign up to the proposed cut-off point for a legal text to have been finalised as it said Britain would continue to work to get a deal done 'as soon as possible'. Mr Barnier believes a blueprint must be agreed by close of play this evening if there is to be any chance of a deal being signed off by European leaders at a crunch EU summit on Thursday and Friday. If no accord can be struck within the next 48 hours then the focus of that summit in Brussels - the final one scheduled before the October 31 divorce date - will shift to whether to offer the UK a delay. Below are all of the answers to all of the key questions as Brexit enters its most volatile phase yet. When does Michel Barnier believe a … [Read more...] about Will the UK meet Michel Barnier’s midnight Brexit deal deadline? And what will happen if no agreement has been hammered out before a crunch EU summit starts on Thursday?
brexit countdown_bg Created with Sketch. Boris Johnson is closing in on a possible Brexit deal this evening. Following a day of intense negotiations, sources in both Brussels and London said the details of a possible deal were 'within sight'. However, with talks set to go to the wire, both sides cautioned that negotiations could still stall or even collapse ahead of tomorrow's crunch EU summit in Brussels. A Whitehall insider said: 'There is progress, but one mis-step and it can all turn to dust.' An EU official involved in the talks said the bloc was 'very confident' a deal would be struck overnight. But a senior French official urged 'extreme prudence' about predicting a deal would be done. In a further boost for Mr Johnson, a group of so-called Spartan MPs – Brexiteers who rejected Theresa May's deal three times – emerged from talks at No10 indicating that they would vote for the latest proposals. Former Brexit minister Steve Baker, chairman of the European Research … [Read more...] about Brexit deal is ‘within sight’ as talks stretch into the night but Boris Johnson is warned one bad move could ‘turn it to dust’