Prime Minister Theresa May maintained that she is still seeking “further assurances” about the proposed Northern Ireland backstop, after EU-27 leaders reiterated that the Brexit deal is “not open for renegotiation.”
“There is work still to do, and we will be holding talks in coming days about how to obtain the further assurances that the UK Parliament needs in order to be able to approve the deal,” May said during a December 14 press conference at the European Council summit in Brussels.
Asked about plans for those talks at a later press conference, European Council President Donald Tusk said he has “no mandate to organise any further negotiations”. But he is always at the prime minister’s disposal, he said. My news story for Tax Notes (paywall), December 15:
Juncker Seeks to Lower Temperature After Fraught Brexit Talks
A House of Commons committee has highlighted concerns about the level of Brexit preparedness at the UK border, telling officials it is “alarming that so little planning has been undertaken” for Northern Ireland.
My news story for Tax Notes (paywall), December 7*:
Other Brexit stories published in the week ending December 7:
Brexit advice vindicates opposition to backstop, Unionists say (December 6*)
Contempt vote forces publication of Brexit legal advice (December 5)
Advocate General’s opinion boosts anti-Brexit campaign (December 5*)
*These stories were also published in the December 10 edition of Tax Notes International.
The European Commission is satisfied that “sufficient progress has been achieved” on three priority issues in phase 1 of the Brexit talks, the commission announced on December 8, while questions remained about the implications of commitments given regarding Northern Ireland.
It is now for the European Council to decide at a December 15 meeting whether the negotiations should proceed to their second phase, the commission said, adding that its assessment, set out in a communication to the European Council (Article 50), was based on a joint report agreed by negotiators and endorsed by UK Prime Minister Theresa May and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
My news story for Tax Analysts, December 8 (paywall)