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May to insist ball is in Europe's court as Brexit talks resume

10 October 2017, 12:41 | Myrtle Vega

May says ball is in EU's court as Brexit talks resume

Minister Theresa May

The Prime Minister will tell MPs that the "ball is in the EU's court" when she updates them on the progress of Brexit negotiations.

"And as we look forward to the next stage, the ball is in their court".

Danish Finance Minister Kristian Jensen hit out at the constant stalling by Brussels over reaching a deal, which has become a feature of the talks to date, remarking that Prime Minister Theresa May's concessions to the European Union made in her Florence speech should have been enough to shift the deadlock. "But I am optimistic we will receive a positive response".

Chatter concerns whether the final arrangement on citizens' rights can be accorded a status in the United Kingdom similar to the European Communities Act, which gave EU rules supremacy over British law - a legal concept called "direct effect".

He said if the Tories cannot successfully negotiate with the EU, Theresa May should "make way for a team that can".

While insisting on the fact that Brexit can not be stopped, as it was the people's decision and vote, it is nevertheless becoming harder for the government to hide from what is being seen (on a growing scale) as huge, disastrous negotiation talks.

"The ball is entirely in the UK's court for the rest to happen", European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas told reporters at lunchtime.

"We shouldn't be proceeding with a president who is putting himself forward as - and I think some people in the administration are saying it's a deliberate policy that he's putting himself forward as - insane".

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While May has called for a two-year transition period after Brexit to ease the impact on the economy, hardline Brexiteers want to cut ties with Europe more decisively.

The EU has repeatedly insisted that both sides must first make "sufficient progress" on citizens' rights, the Irish border, and Britain's financial obligations before talks on future trade arrangements can be discussed.

As the European Union and Britain started the fifth round of Brexit talks on Monday, both sides quarreled over who was responsible for making the next move in the stalled negotiations over Britain's departure from the bloc.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has shown his scepticism for whether enough progress will be made before the EU summit later this month (October 19).

In her statement, the Prime Minister suggested any Brexit agreement was a long time off and would come right down to the wire.

But after her faltering party conference last week and ahead of important meetings in Brussels over the next fortnight, diplomats and officials there and in big member states said they have been putting renewed focus on contingency planning for a legal limbo in March 2019 and urging businesses to do the same.

Labour has "not taken anything off the table" but "we are clear about what it is that we want to be able to achieve, and that will be hard within the single market".

Speculation surrounds a possible cabinet reshuffle in the coming weeks and whether or not Mrs May might sack Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. This person would need to be a master of detail, know how to get Whitehall to do things it doesn't want to do and not be involved in the Brexit talks themselves to try and limit the extent to which this effort contaminates the negotiations.



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