EU leaders summit to feature Brexit “provisional” deal talks

EU leaders summit to feature Brexit “provisional” deal talks

European leaders meet in Brussels today to tackle a lengthy agenda at the European Council summit, ranging from Eurozone reform

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Photo: European Council

European leaders meet in Brussels today to tackle a lengthy agenda at the European Council summit, ranging from Eurozone reform to migration. But, the one issue likely to overshadow all others is Brexit.

Representatives from Britain and France are expected to discuss a “provisional” deal today on a post-Brexit transition period. The agreement would essentially assure businesses that little would change for the two years after Britain leaves the EU as scheduled in March 2019. The agreement aims to give national and transnational businesses plenty of time to retain the benefits of a single market and customs union while the UK determines its new economic and political relationship with the bloc.

Regardless of the intent, the deal remains in jeopardy over Northern Ireland, which has become a serious political dilemma for Prime Minister Theresa May. The full Brexit agreement as is would establish a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. If Ms May accepts that draft, her minority government risks losing Irish-unionist DUP support in parliament and could jeopardise the Irish peace process. But, if talks linger over the issue she could face the ire of 62 backbench Brexiteer Tories.