Brexit breakthrough? Theresa May meets Jean-Claude Juncker to break EU deadlock

Pound goes up on hopes of a deal on EU free trade

Theresa May is meeting with the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, for lunch in a final attempt to break deadlock over the Brexit deal before the summit next week.

The Prime Minister has been joined by Brexit Secretary David Davis for key meetings with presidents Juncker and Donald Tusk where they will reportedly decide whether “sufficient progress” has been made to start Phase 2 negotiations of trade talks.

According to BBC, there are increasing indications that an agreement on the first phase of Brexit talks is about to be struck.

Tusk has said a while ago that he was “encouraged by progress” and a deal on Ireland, the “divorce bill” and citizens’ rights was “getting closer”.

Davis told earlier media that it was vital that EU negotiators agree to move the talks on to discuss trade as it was of huge value to all members of the trading bloc. “It’s an important day… Everybody understands that the decision to move on to trade talks is vital, it’s vital to everybody, it’s of huge value to the 27 members and to ourselves,” he told Sky News.

According to the BBC, the two sides have reached broad agreement over the UK ‘divorce bill’ and ‘citizens’ rights’.

According to sources, MEPs were told by the Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, that May had conceded that the province would be treated as a special case with “continued regulatory alignment” between the north and south of the island after Brexit.

Downing Street said ahead of the meeting that there were “plenty of discussions to go” on reaching sufficient progress.

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