8oct weekly news template

THERESA MAY BRACED FOR ANOTHER WEEK OF BATTLES WITH BRUSSELS AND HER OWN BACKBENCHERS

Theresa May is bracing for another week of Brexit battles as it faces flashpoints with both Brussels and hardline Tory MPs. Despite key EU leaders sounding more upbeat at the prospects of a deal in recent days, Brussels appears set to reject key aspects of the Prime Minister’s Chequers proposals on Wednesday.However, it was reported that Mrs May hopes to break the deadlock over the Irish border issue by keeping the EU’s present customs arrangements beyond when the transition period is due to end in December 2020. Anti-EU Tory MPs have made it clear to the PM that this option could last no longer than the slated general election in 2022, according to The Times. – Mirror

EU DIPLOMATS SAY THERE HAS BEEN GOOD PROGRESS IN MOST AREAS OF THE DIVORCE AGREEMENT

After staring into the abyss, negotiators have found renewed momentum in the Brexit talks. Although obstacles remain, there is now cautious optimism that the two sides are close to wrapping up agreement on all aspects of the U.K. divorce treaty apart from a solution to the Northern Ireland border issue, according to EU diplomats briefed on the talks. Sticking points such as how future disputes about the agreement itself would be handled and the rights of EU citizens living on British military bases in Cyprus, for example, now appear closer to being resolved. – Politico

Nicola Sturgeon ‘very foolish’ to back second Brexit vote says former SNP deputy leader

Former SNP deputy leader Jim Sillars last night branded Nicola Sturgeon’s decision to back a second European Union referendum as “very foolish”. The First Minister said yesterday the SNP’s 35 MPs would vote in support of a so-called People’s Vote on Brexit if the option is put before the House of Commons. Sillars – who backed Brexit – said Scottish unionists would use the precedent to demand another independence referendum if there is eventually a Yes vote. He told the Record: “If you concede that the EU referendum is not definitive, you also have to concede that any future vote in support of Scottish independence would not be definitive.“By backing a People’s Vote you are giving the game away. That is why I think it is very foolish.” – Daily Record

FORMER MI6 BOSS SIR RICHARD DEARLOVE SAYS HE’S “HAPPY” WE’RE LEAVING THE EU

Sir Richard Dearlove told Sophy Ridge on Sunday he is “happy” to see the end of Britain’s membership to the EU, and doesn’t believe it will signal the end of influence in European geopolitics. “I’m personally happy to see us ceasing to be a member of the EU but I don’t think you should see that as leaving Europe, it’s leaving the European Treaty, and we would obviously still have a very close relationship with continental Europe,” he said.”We’ve never been part of continental Europe’s political ambitions to create a more federated union, we’ve always opposed that. I think the EU in its current form – I’m not suggesting it’s going to disappear but it radically needs change, and if it’s going to have an inner core which is politically motivated we’re never, ever going to be an enthusiastic part of that.”I’m absolutely confident that we can survive and thrive outside a continental alliance but still be a major player in European geopolitics.” – Sky News

Theresa May

RAPHAEL HOGARTH: THERE IS A SOLUTION FOR MAY TO BREAK THE BREXIT IMPASSE

Yet even before ministers begin fighting a guerrilla war in Westminster, there are difficulties ahead in Brussels.There will be some stubborn creases to iron out of this backstop. Some member states are queasy about the idea of granting the UK the economic benefits of a customs union, without demanding that the UK signs up to other EU regulations to ensure a “level playing field” between British and EU businesses. More difficulties arise from the prime minister’s insistence that any new “regulatory barriers” between Northern Ireland and Great Britain would require the agreement of the Northern Ireland Executive and Assembly.If Northern Ireland remains in parts of the single market, then Northern Ireland will have to adopt new EU rules as they come into force. Great Britain will not. That means different rules on either side of the Irish Sea, and so real regulatory barriers to trade. – Raphael Hogarth for The Times (£)

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