Britain's May seeks to cut deal on future EU ties in Brussels

Britain's May seeks to cut deal on future EU ties in Brussels

Prime Minister Theresa May heads to Brussels on Wednesday to try to finalize a blueprint for Britain’s future ties with the European Union, hoping to secure commitments that will appease Brexit rebels at home, Reuters reports.

With just over four months before Britain leaves the bloc, the two sides are trying to hammer out their divorce terms and an outline of their future relationship before a summit on Sunday. That would give their parliaments enough time to consider a deal that will end more than 40 years of partnership.

The blueprint on future ties is a political document of about 20 pages, meant to be agreed side-by-side with an exit treaty of 600 pages of dense legal text, unveiled last week.

That draft accord so far has done little to win over lawmakers in Britain, with eurosceptics in May’s Conservative Party and her allies in Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party piling on pressure to try to force her to change tack.

It has also stirred some anger in other EU capitals, with Spain threatening to vote against the treaty over Gibraltar, and others at odds over fishing rights and trade.

Without approval from EU leaders and parliament back home, Britain risks leaving the EU abruptly with no treaty governing its relations to the bloc, a scenario that companies fear would cut supply lines and thwart investment and trade.

Before the meeting between May and EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker at 1630 GMT, one EU diplomat said there was still “some work ... needed on three aspects: fish, goods and Gibraltar.... Juncker and May will try to sort it out.”

May’s spokesman gave little away, saying only: “It is fair to describe it as part of the ongoing negotiations.”

The EU is trying to discourage Britain from any renegotiation of the draft treaty, while at the same time seeking to assuage concerns expressed by some of the remaining 27 member states.

To be valid, the exit treaty must be backed by a “qualified majority” of at least 20 EU states accounting for 65 percent of the EU population. But the bloc is seeking unanimity since this would be needed for future trade deals once Britain leaves.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez demanded assurances that the future of the disputed British territory of Gibraltar would be settled through direct talks between Madrid and London.

His Foreign Minister Josep Borrell said on Wednesday: “We will not give our agreement until... we are assured that... the negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union will not include Gibraltar, that this would be a separate negotiation which Spain would need to agree on.”

Many in Brussels thought Sanchez was trying to score points with voters at home before a local election in the southern Andalusia region on Dec.2. They said the issue could be solved by the leaders and warned Madrid not to push so far as to put the whole Brexit agreement at risk. [L8N1XW2P7]

“We are following the latest developments with growing concern,” said a second EU diplomat. “No one wants to reopen the withdrawal agreement.”

With the fate of the tentative Brexit agreement still far from clear, both sides have also been advancing contingency plans for the worst case scenario — Britain crashing out of the EU without an agreement.

Diplomats in Brussels said Britain was also seeking an easy flow of goods after Brexit, which was too close to the privileges allowed only for countries that sign up to EU single market rules, including free flow of people and services.

“The UK wants free movement of goods, which they won’t get because that’s back to discussing partial access to the single market, which we don’t do,” another diplomat said.

In addition, France has called for more guarantees on future access to Britain’s fishing waters, which London wants to keep firmly under its control after Brexit.

EU states with pending issues are seeking to address them either through the blueprint of post-Brexit EU-UK ties or through separate EU statements that would not formally be part of the deal with Britain. France has backed such extra declarations, while Germany opposed them, saying the focus should be on completing the blueprint.

Following May’s talks with Juncker, EU envoys will meet to discuss the outline of future ties on Thursday morning. The leaders’ negotiators will then look at it again at a meeting scheduled on Friday, two days before the summit.

Baku - leading capital of CIS in terms of economic activity index - Gazprombank
Baku - leading capital of CIS in terms of economic activity index - Gazprombank
Azerbaijani banking sector's overall profit drops
Azerbaijani banking sector's overall profit drops
Iranian currency rates for December 5
Iranian currency rates for December 5
Loading Bars
Latest
Iran announces date for launch of Ardabil-Mianeh railway
Ministry reveals number of persons given Azerbaijan's Patriotic War martyr status
Azerbaijani Bar Association appeals to int'l organizations regarding Armenian aggression
UK Maritime Trade Operations says aware of attack on vessel off Yemen coast
Number of enterprises put into operation in Iran's Kermanshah Province soars
Special offer for volunteers!
Iran discloses details of exports from Fars Province
Baku - leading capital of CIS in terms of economic activity index - Gazprombank
Data of Turkmen transport, communication sector revealed
Azerbaijani banking sector's overall profit drops
Turkmenistan exceeds plan for oil and gas condensate production
Iranian currency rates for December 5
Loan portfolio of trade, services sector in Azerbaijan grows
Кazakhstan Electricity Grid Operating Company opens tender for vehicle maintenance
Foreign investment in Iran increases
GDP growth observed in Turkmenistan
LNG share in Turkey’s natural gas imports reaches 43% in H1 this year
U.S. not extending TikTok divestiture deadline, but talks will continue
ADB allocates $2.5 mln to support Georgia amid pandemic
Italy's retail sales climb higher in October, pushed by demand for electronic equipment
4 regions in coronavirus red zone in Kazakhstan
Iran's UNESCO envoy urges condemnation of assassination of Iranian scientist
France's daily COVID-19 infections continue to fall
Embassy of Japan in Georgia reveals volume of trade turnover between two countries
Arab League welcomes Kuwait's efforts to "heal Arab rifts"
World Bank grants Morocco 400-mln-USD loan
Azerbaijan slows down imports of Turkish-made leather goods
Additional costs could add up to 2.8 billion dollars, Tokyo 2020 says
Trump to withdraw most troops from Somalia as part of global pullback
UK, EU call in leaders to save trade talks
Palestinian teen killed by Israeli forces in protest
Azerbaijan discloses volume of liabilities in banking sector
Heydar Aliyev Center, Flame Towers and Baku Olympic Stadium illuminated with Azerbaijani flag (PHOTO)
NY Times publishes article on the fate of Ciraqli village during Karabakh conflict
South Africa's second largest crude refinery shutdown after blast
1st China-bound freight train departs on 12-day journey from Istanbul
Chip shortages could slow automotive production, VW and suppliers say
Russia, India kick off joint naval drills in Indian Ocean
NCDC to study COVID-19 reinfection cases
Turkey reports over 32,736 new COVID-19 cases
Azerbaijan unveils funds value received by Armed Forces Relief Fund as of December 1
Kazakhstan, Russia agree on measure to restore ecosystem of transboundary rivers
Iran reveals its COVID-19 data for December 4
Kazakhstan's coal extracting venture to buy spares via tender
French activists protest against Amazon's expansion
Azerbaijani, Bulgarian FMs discuss bilateral cooperation
Azerbaijani public reveres memory of martyrs of Karabakh conflict (PHOTO)
Electricity Market Concept Design defines gradual retail market opening in Georgia
Import of rice by Azerbaijan up
Baku Metro opens tender to buy tire connections
French parliament loses ability to be serious partner – Turkish Grand National Assembly
Investments in Georgian Poti Free Industrial Zone diversified by regional countries
Iran's next years budget unlikely to improve economy - Head of Parliament Plan and Budget Commission
Azerbaijan raises value of imports from Lithuania in 10M2020
Big foreign IT companies entering Georgia's market
Azerbaijan's Compulsory Insurance Bureau compensating bankrupted insurer's creditors
Georgia sees increase in tangerines export
Azerbaijan shows video footage from Yanshag village of Kalbajar district (VIDEO)
EDB, KazakhExport to jointly insure exports of insulated cars from Kazakhstan
Georgian Chamber of Commerce working on several projects to help SMEs
Azerbaijan's irrigation company to finance power supply of crop areas
Turkmenistan builts new mosque in Afghanistan's Akina town (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani, Latvian FMs exchange views on current situation in region
International organizations aim to finance road construction and repair in Georgia
Georgia sees increase in imports of dairy products
Azerbaijan unveils 10M2020 railway export operations
EDB to fund investment projects in priority sectors of Kazakhstan Development Bank
Azerbaijani FM receives Belarusian ambassador amid completion of his diplomatic mission (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry delivers diplomatic note to French ambassador
Global debt to hit $200 trillion - S&P Global
Turkmengas opens tender for purchase of general equipment
Ankara honors memory of Azerbaijan's martyrs (PHOTO)
First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva: We will never forget Patriotic War martyrs (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan applies Lithuanian company's hotel management system project
“Ural Airlines” to take citizens of the Russian Federation out of Azerbaijan
Serbia to pay off loan received from Azerbaijan for road construction
Turkish export cargo to China to pass through Port of Baku
Uzbekistan Airways resumes flights to Kazakhstan’s Nur-Sultan
SOCAR Ukraine's aviation fuel imports for November
Surge in COVID-19 cases reported at Kazakhstan's Tengiz oil field
Turkish president supports Azerbaijani counterpart’s recommendation to France
SOCAR expands its activities in Ukraine
Iran – UK trade could improve by money transfer facilities
Turkey records more Uzbek companies in 10M2020
Budget of Georgia Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure to be highest
Rostelecom increases capacity of Uzbektelecom's access to Russian segment of Internet
Central Bank of Azerbaijan eyes to raise funds on Bloomberg trading platform
Azerbaijan was rooting for us – National gymnastics team member (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan ramps up goods exports via stationary transport
UAE’s activity on Turkmenistan’s exchange in November
Azerbaijan confirms 4,267 new COVID-19 cases, 2,566 recoveries
Kazakhstan Development Bank to co-op to promote EAEU integration
Karabakh to become ecotourism center of regional importance - Association of Hotels and Restaurants of Azerbaijan
Oil moves up towards $50/bbl after OPEC+ supply compromise
Number of COVID-19 infections in Russia increases by 27,403 in 24 hours
Turkish minister to get acquainted with construction progress of Kars logistics center
International law firms enter Georgian market
EU urges countries to keep COVID in check over festive season
Baku cathedral parishioners honor memory of martyrs of Azerbaijan's Patriotic War (PHOTO)
Bank of Israel intervenes in foreign exchange market
All news