Saudi Ambassador to Guinea and Sierra Leone Bids Farewell to 1st Batch of Guinean Pilgrims    KSrelief Delivers A Gift of 25 Tons of Dates from Saudi Arabia to Togo    King, Crown Prince congratulate presidents of Croatia, Slovenia and Mozambique    The Crown Prince's regional tour and the upcoming summit    Toyota recalls electric cars over concerns about loose wheels    UK workshop seeks to lure investors to Saudi Arabia's mining sector    Conflict, drought, dwindling food support, threatens lives of 20 million in Ethiopia    FIFA increases squad limit to 26 for World Cup    KSrelief Concludes Anti-Blindness Campaign in Garoua, Cameroon, by Conducting 423 Surgeries    KSrelief Dispatches Over 100 Relief Trucks to Yemen Through Al-Wadiah Land Port    FIFA Accredits Saudi Football Association Among Expert Federations in VAR Tech    10-year jail, SR10m fine for distributing adulterated food among pilgrims    US Senate passes first gun control bill in decades    Talking to the Taliban 'only way forward' in Afghanistan    Monkeypox: Amid uncertainty, global situation cannot be ignored, says WHO chief    Saudi Ambassador to Tunisia Takes Part in Tunisia Forum for Investment    Saudi Arabia reaffirms commitment to women empowerment Economic participation by Saudi females up 94% in 3 years    Two killed as electric car falls from third floor of Shanghai office building    Al-Hilal one win away from 3rd SPL title in a row    Anthony Joshua defends Saudi Arabia when asked about 'sportswashing'    Saudi Arabia, Djibouti Sign Joint Cooperation Agreement on Maritime Transport    Blood transfusion at IMC for patient with complex condition qualifies him for surgery    GCC Food Safety Committee Holds its Sixth Meeting    Saudi Stock Market Index Ends Down at Level of 11310.67 Points    Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Visits London Metal Exchange    Flyadeal Launches First Direct Flight to Khartoum    NEOM launches program to develop next generation of Saudi football talent    Al-Khorayef visits London Metal Exchange    Belgian blogger: Saudi Arabia is safer than America and Europe    Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall are to split: US media    SFDA Extends Period for Submitting Requests for Compliance Forms for Food Transportation during Hajj    CITC Publishes Public Consultation on Regulatory Framework for NTN, Information Document for NTN Spectrum Auction    GASTAT: Saudi Arabia's overall merchandise exports increased by 98.0% in April 2022    Celebrating the union of body and soul: UN marks International Yoga Day    Jeddah is Set to Host the Finals of World Boxing in August, Organizers Announce    President of AFC Congratulates Saudi Olympic Team on Winning Asia Cup U23    Saudi National Olympic Team Crowned AFC U23 Asian Cup    Samrat Prithviraj: Why did a Bollywood film on a popular Hindu king fail?    Saudi Film "The Journey" Wins Best Experimental Film at Dutch Septimius Awards    ALECSO Director: Islamic Arts Biennale Is Extension of Saudi Arabia's Cultural Movement    Saudi Council of Senior Scholars slams Indian ruling party leader's remarks against Prophet    Diriyah Biennale Foundation Announces Hajj Terminal in Jeddah as Location for First-ever Islamic Arts Biennale    Drug charges dropped against Shah Rukh Khan's son    Shoura members propose equal blood money for men and women, Muslim and non-Muslim    Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques addresses citizens and all Muslims on the occasion of the Holy month of Ramadan    Pilgrims Perform Dhuhr and Asr Prayers at Arafat Holy Site    Council of Senior Scholars: Muslim Brothers' Group Don't Represent Method of Islam, rather only Follows its Partisan Objectives, Violating our Graceful Religion    Eid Al-Adha Prayer Performed at the Grand Holy Mosque    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.



Britain struggles on two fronts to agree last-ditch Brexit deal
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 16 - 10 - 2019

Negotiators struggled on Wednesday to clinch an eleventh-hour Brexit deal on the eve of an EU summit, raising the chances that Prime Minister Boris Johnson will have to seek an extension of the Oct. 31 deadline for Britain's exit from the bloc.
Talks in Brussels on Tuesday between European Union and British officials ran into the night and resumed just hours later, but Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said there were still "many issues" to be resolved.
Although differences over the complex divorce between the world's fifth-largest economy and its biggest trading bloc have narrowed significantly, EU sources reported on Wednesday that the two sides had reached a "standstill".
This was partly because of objections to a proposal on customs from a small Northern Ireland political party whose votes Johnson will likely need to get a Brexit deal through parliament.
The main sticking point in the long-running talks with Brussels over Brexit, which has already been delayed twice, is the border between EU member Ireland and the British province of Northern Ireland.
The question is how to prevent the frontier becoming a backdoor into the EU's single market without erecting controls which could undermine the 1998 peace agreement that ended decades of conflict in the province.
London's latest proposal envisages Northern Ireland staying in the UK customs area. Tariffs would apply on goods crossing from mainland Britain to Northern Ireland if they were deemed to be headed further, to Ireland and the bloc's single market.
Any approval by European Union leaders at their Thursday-Friday summit in Brussels of a last-minute Brexit deal could only be conditional on the British House of Commons approving it later, said three diplomats with the bloc.
If Johnson is to get a deal through parliament, where he does not have a majority, he is likely to need the support of the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which says maintaining the economic integrity of the United Kingdom is sacrosanct.
Pro-Brexit lawmakers from Johnson's governing Conservative Party say they will only back deal if it has gained the support of the DUP, which fears Northern Ireland could be left behind in the EU's orbit when Britain leaves.
Officials in London described the demands of the three different parties — the EU, Conservative Brexit supporters and the DUP — as trying fit together the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.
Johnson held talks with the DUP and pro-Brexit Conservatives on Tuesday and was expected to do so again on Wednesday, trying to find a way to soothe their concerns over any compromise he offers to the EU to try to secure a deal.
A central figure in the 2016 referendum who came to power as leader of the Conservative Party in July, Johnson has pledged to take Britain out of the EU on Oct. 31 with or without a deal.
But parliament has passed a law saying Britain cannot leave without an agreement, and Johnson has not explained how he can get around that.
Ireland's Varadkar said in a speech that if the remaining issues cannot be resolved before this week's EU summit, there was still time left to act before the Oct. 31 deadline.
"October 31 is still a few weeks away and there is the possibility of an additional summit before that if we need one ... Although time is running short, I am confident that (Ireland's) objectives can be met," he said.
EU diplomats said negotiators in Brussels were at odds over Britain's application of common EU rules and standards designed to ensure fair competition — known as the 'level playing field' — and a future trade deal between Britain and the EU.
"The UK wants us to legally commit to sealing a free trade agreement with them in the future that would be tariff-free and quota-free. But we can't do that, it would be prejudging the future negotiations and tying our hands," one diplomat said.
"So it's a bit of a standstill at the moment."
Reports of a possible collapse in negotiations hit sterling and stocks in London.
The currency then rose on reports that the DUP had accepted the latest plan but that was swiftly shot down by the party's head Arlene Foster.
Britain's Brexit minister, Steve Barclay, said he would not accept a Brexit delay beyond Oct. 31, even if it was only used to tie up the necessary legal requirements of an agreement.
Barring a last-minute agreement at the summit, the EU believes Britain will have to delay its departure once again. Extension options range from an additional month beyond Oct. 31 to half a year or more.
The bloc may hold an emergency summit later in October to either approve a deal, grant an extension or make final preparations for a chaotic split. — Reuters


Clic here to read the story from its source.