On Friday, a senior Brussels diplomat said that the European Union and the United Kingdom could agree a “provisional” deal next week on a post-Brexit transition period. He stressed that this would only take place if London and the bloc resolve all the divorce matters first.
Theresa May, the British Prime Minister, is set to attend an EU summit that is scheduled next Thursday and Friday. She is hoping for a deal that will reassure the business that not much will change for around two years after Britain withdraws from the bloc as scheduled in March 2019.
However, the bloc says that a stalemate on agreeing how to avoid returning to a hard border in Ireland following Brexit risks hindering any deal, and discussions are anticipated to go on until the last minute.
On Friday, a senior EU diplomat stated: “There could be an agreement on transition, but it would in any case only be a provisional agreement.
“It would be completely dependant on what will be the fate of the withdrawal agreement. Of course, if there is no withdrawal agreement, there will be no transition.”
The European Union says that it would give the United Kingdom a status-quo adaptation phase only if both sides clear up all the disagreements that related to the withdrawal of Britain.
Sources have seen signs of quick progress in recent days regarding outstanding issues, with the border in Ireland again appearing as the key make-or-break issue.