Britain sees Brexit progress, again calls on EU to 'meet us halfway'
Brexit minister Dominic Raab voiced confidence that Britain and the European Union would make progress on their divorce at a summit next week, but again asked the bloc to meet London “halfway” on the most difficult areas, Reuters reports.
Brexit negotiations have stepped up before the summit next Wednesday and Thursday, and the EU has signalled that its officials believe a deal is within grasp. But one of the most difficult obstacles to securing the so-called withdrawal agreement, the Irish border, has yet to be resolved.
With just six months before Britain leaves the EU in its biggest shift in trade and foreign policy in more than 40 years, both sides say they are intensifying talks to try to avoid a “no deal” Brexit that could harm the world’s fifth largest economy.
“The October council next week of course will be an important milestone - we expect that to be a moment where we will make some progress,” Raab told parliament when asked why he was no longer suggesting there could be a deal at the meeting.
“The negotiations were always bound to be tough in the final stretch. That’s all the more reason why we should hold our nerve, stay resolute and focussed, and I remain confident we will reach a deal this autumn.”