British, EU ministers say still time for Brexit deal

British Prime Minister Theresa May

And it is all because of the Irish border issue - squaring the circle or making the impossible possible.

Irish President Leo Varadkar also urged both sides to "get down to business", adding he was keen to see a deal by November.

Theresa May will address European Union leaders in Brussels on Wednesday night on the eve of a crucial summit.

Members of May's own party and the Conservatives' parliamentary allies oppose the Prime Minister's current proposals for the future EU-UK border in Ireland, putting her in a political straitjacket that restricts the "creative" ideas Tusk seeks.

Claiming the backstop plan was merely an "insurance policy" in case a future trade agreement was not ready to be implemented, she said: "We expect that to be no later than December 2021 but we will be working to ensure that that point comes as early as possible". "Let's hold our nerve now and continue negotiation". He reportedly said he was prepared for all scenarios.

Ms Husain asked the Italian Ambassador to the United Kingdom to explain why European Union leaders had not asked chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier to be open to British proposals to avoid a no deal scenario.

"We are not there yet", he said.

"We will take this time, calmly and seriously, to find this global agreement in the next weeks", he said.

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In Luxembourg, foreign ministers from the remaining 27 European Union states received a briefing from Mr Barnier, who said "more time" was needed to find an agreement that kept the Irish border open.

The EU has stuck to its position - a backstop to prevent a return to a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland can not be time-limited and can not include the whole of the United Kingdom remaining in the customs union. "For a breakthrough to take place besides goodwill we need new facts", he said. The brick wall those talks hit over the Irish border issue has flipped around that logic.

Under questioning from Tory former foreign secretary Boris Johnson and Labour's Brexit select committee chair Hilary Benn, May was not able to offer a concrete date on when such an arrangement would come to an end. So the planned draft declaration on a future trade deal is off, next month's meeting to finalize it is off, and now the remaining European Union members are getting ready to start talking among themselves about just unceremoniously bidding Britain adieu on March 29. Tusk warned that chances of Britain leaving without a deal were higher than ever before.

Ms. May's backing away from a deal that was close to being agreed on, follows growing pressure from within her party.

In a public statement afterwards, Mrs May announced: "I am convinced that if we as a government stand together and stand firm we can achieve this".

The EU is waiting for new proposals from Britain.

The leader of the Democratic Unionist Party of the Northern Ireland stressed on Monday, that there can not be any "economic barriers between Britain and N. Ireland".

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said after several ministers met privately over pizza yesterday that "no one is planning on resigning". Things have gotten so bad that May had to convene her Cabinet to get their approval for her negotiating strategy, because that went so well last time.

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