Brexit talks reach final six months as UK-EU tensions increase

Brexit talks reach final six months as UK-EU tensions increase

Today marks six months until the United Kingdom is scheduled to leave the European Union. This milestone comes as tensions

Workers are seen crossing London Bridge with City of London skyscrapers seen behind during the morning rush hour in London

Photo: Reuters/Toby Melville

Today marks six months until the United Kingdom is scheduled to leave the European Union. This milestone comes as tensions between Prime Minister Theresa May and Brussels are at a high.

Last week in Salzburg, EU leaders rejected Downing Street’s “Chequers” proposal for an exit deal. May responded with a statement blasting the other EU leaders, blaming them for the reinforced impasse in negotiations. Though optimists insist a deal is mostly done, sticking points like the Irish border remain seemingly intractable.

A 1.5% drop in the pound against the dollar indicated sentiment that the war of words made the prospect of Britain leaving on March 29 with no deal more likely. Such an outcome could see the UK enter a stockpiling frenzy and see trade with the EU upended by uncertainty.

While talking it up, a no deal scenario is likely intended more as a negotiating tactic by Downing Street than a realistic proposal. However, the frequent threats of it may aid hardcore Brexiteers in May’s Conservative Party in voting against a deal they dislike if one is reached­—support May’s minority government cannot lose. Even if a deal is reached, chaos may still come on March 29.

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