Barnier Tells EU Governments `Not Much Progress' in Brexit Talks

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But Mrs May's spokesman said the "focus is on getting this right" rather than meeting a deadline. She said leaders need to make progress at that meeting and October is the "last possible" date to agree on the terms for an orderly Brexit.

"We are concerned about the lack of a clear approach, a clear position from the British".

About it reports Reuters with a reference to the statement by the German Minister for European Affairs Michael Roth announced in Brussels on Monday, may 14.

"We need now to be making substantial progress, but that is not happening".

"I just can't see how it works if there are no checks on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and no checks on goods travelling from Northern Ireland to Great Britain, which itself raises a number of political questions that are hard to resolve".

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The deadlock increases the risk of a cliff-edge Brexit in less than a year, as Theresa May's government is under pressure from hardliners in her party to opt for an abrupt departure rather than give in to European Union demands.

Under a customs partnership, the United Kingdom would collect tariffs for Brussels. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has branded the Prime Minister's idea "crazy" and he and other detractors of the partnership concept instead contend that new technology and trusted trader schemes can provide for smooth cross-border trading.

The "key rendezvous" for London and Brussels to resolve the disagreement on the Irish border and "operational solutions" is coming closer as the European Union countries are to take part in a June summit.

The British government planned to sign a Temporary customs Union with the EU since March 2019.

Other outstanding issues include guarantees for expatriate rights and trade rules after Brexit.

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Gibraltar's post-Brexit future, in particular its inclusion in any transition arrangements, is also on the list of issues that require resolution.

Last December, the United Kingdom and European Union agreed the need for a "backstop" option that would ensure no return of a hard border - through an alignment of regulations across the island - even if a wider Brexit trade deal failed to materialise.

Theresa May's Brexit war cabinet will meet again as discussions over how to resolve the deadlock on the customs union continue.

Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok said it was too early to discuss an extension of the timeline, but added: "The aim is now to conclude a deal in the time schedule that has been agreed on ..."

"I trust that he finished the job off earlier this morning, but unfortunately this just does leave us with his own insane Mad Max proposal - max fac proposal".

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