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Negotiations for Brexit deal in stalemate

Posted December. 06, 2017 07:38,   

Updated December. 06, 2017 09:31


The United Kingdom and the European Union (EU) held the first round of Brexit negotiations on Monday ahead of an EU summit scheduled for next Thursday, but failed to come up with a complete agreement on several issues. British Prime Minister Theresa May now finds herself in a more difficult position to show leadership under mounting pressure.

After the meeting with Ms. May in Brussels Monday, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told reporters that it was not possible to reach a complete deal despite “significant progress” made in recent days. The British prime minister is expected back in Brussels for further talks this week, and some speculate that they will reach a deal before the EU summit next week.

During the negotiations, Prime Minister May reportedly accepted the EU’s demand to guarantee there will be no hard land border in Ireland. This would mean that both Ireland and Northern Ireland will maintain regulatory alignment with the EU, allowing goods to continue to move freely across a soft border with no customs checks.

Yet, she was soon met with strong opposition of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). Ms. May is understood to even have halted the talks to make an emergency call to Ms. Foster, the leader of the Northern Ireland’s largest party, to no avail. Scotland and Wales are also fiercely opposing May’s concession, arguing they then should be also allowed to continue to participate in the single market, saying, “If one part of the UK is granted continued participation in the single market and customs union, then we fully expect to be made the same offer.”

Jung-Min Dong ditto@donga.com