Brexit deal getting closer, European Commission chief says

HuffPost UK               The key extract from the new book

HuffPost UK The key extract from the new book

Salvini said earlier on Friday that "people like" Juncker and EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici "have ruined Europe".

"Somehow everything seems to be rather deadlocked at the moment, and as a result the downside risks for sterling remain in place", Commerzbank analysts said in a note to clients.

In a statement alongside Irish PM Leo Varadkar, Donald Tusk called for "respect", saying as someone who spent half his life in the Soviet bloc: "I know what I am talking about".

"The Soviet Union was about prisons and gulags, borders and walls, violence against citizens and neighbours", he said. We also need to agree on a political statement that accompanies this withdrawal agreement.

Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, speaking in Brussels on Thursday, urged Britain to make new proposals well ahead of the European Union summit in less than two weeks to leave enough time for analysis.

He stressed that the European Union remained committed to the Iran nuclear deal, adding that "We are in intensive talks with Americans about it", Sputnik reported.

The Prime Minister was not challenged on this point.

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He explained that the so-called "Canada+++ deal" was a far-reaching agreement on trade, internal security and foreign policy cooperation, which was "a true measure of respect". "I hope that it will be possible to avoid major losses on both sides", he said on the sidelines of a conference in Krakow, Poland. And I am sure you will also remember who was the first to declare full solidarity with the United Kingdom at that critical moment.

In another swipe at Brexiteers like Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg, Mr Coveney told the channel: "You can't say we're leaving the single market, customs union, and have our own free trade agreements and we have to have seamless access to your market too".

'We have to get away from this no-deal scenario. A focus will be attempts to come to agreement over customs arrangements on the island of Ireland to prevent the emergence of a "hard border", which inflamed sectarian conflict in the past.

"It must be next week or it's too late to get anything done within our six-week schedule", one said, referring to a plan to have a preliminary Brexit deal at the next European Union leaders' summit on October 18.

Juncker, whose optimism was echoed on Saturday by European Council President Donald Tusk, said that the potential for a rapprochement had grown in recent days, confirming what diplomatic sources have told Reuters.

Another senior EU diplomat said the EU would propose "zero tariffs and zero quotas" in trade with Britain after Brexit, which would go beyond what the bloc has with Canada.Such a proposal goes down well with May's critics at home who advocate a more uncompromising cut from the EU than she is seeking.

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