Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
[Torygraph Alert]
The "gang of five" believes it is not too late for Mrs May to go back to Brussels and demand a unilateral exit mechanism from the so-called "backstop" arrangement over Northern Ireland.
(my emphasis)


Brussels won't allow Brexit deal do-over

We cannot "compromise" or engage in "cherry-picking" or "bargaining," Barnier told ambassadors, referring to requests to reopen the draft deal that was agreed by the British Cabinet on Wednesday. He added that he expects "difficult negotiations" ahead.

Barnier also expressed a desire to help the British government in its efforts to ratify the text in a vote of MPs. And he said that there could be room for movement on the EU side in specific areas, such as enhanced cooperation on phytosanitary regulations and so-called technical barriers to trade. It is a moment not for triumphalism, he said, but for "encouragement."

The chief negotiator's presentation at the more than two-hour meeting reflects a dilemma for Brussels. While EU countries want to help May get the deal through parliament, there is a reluctance at such a late stage to radically unpick the agreement -- despite threats to May's leadership and a series of ministerial resignations over the deal.

by Bernard on Sat Nov 17th, 2018 at 05:08:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]

That lot? Never.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sat Nov 17th, 2018 at 07:55:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"While EU countries want to help May get the deal through parliament, there is a reluctance at such a late stage to radically unpick the agreement"

Maybe not:

France is pushing the UK to incorporate future European climate change directives into law automatically in return for an ambitious trade deal with the EU. But the extra demands on the UK are likely to be unwelcome to Brexiters, who fear that the government is allowing the UK to be permanently sucked into the EU's regulatory orbit. The EU has been steadily ratcheting up its targets as part of the 2015 Paris climate change accord, and France wants the UK to be bound to them.


by asdf on Sat Nov 17th, 2018 at 09:34:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Especially serious is that apparently the principal point to "renegotiate" would be to obtain the UK's unilateral right to end the backstop.

Now that's exactly something the EU would be willing to consider.

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Sun Nov 18th, 2018 at 09:28:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The whole point of the backstop was to prevent the UK from unilaterally causing a situation that necessitates a hard border across the island of Ireland.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2018 at 04:13:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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