Juncker hopes for EU-Britain Brexit deal in November


A member of Barnier's team was due to present his outline to 27 European Union ambassadors in Brussels later on Friday.

Both sides are readying concessions on the Irish backstop. The pound strengthened on Friday.

The engagements come two weeks ahead of the crunch European Council summit in Brussels and amid ongoing uncertainty over whether a Brexit deal can be struck.

"The red line is blood red, it is very red".

EU Brexit negotiators told ambassadors of the 27 states remaining in the bloc on Friday that there was no breakthrough on the Irish issue and much would depend on what the British bring to Brussels next week. If it wants to strike a deal, it is "going to have to screw someone". It would offer the United Kingdom an unprecedented "super-charged" free-trade agreement, in the words of one of the diplomats.

"This is a step in the right direction, it makes finding a compromise possible", one European Union source close to the negotiations told Reuters. The UK is expected to present a new solution next week.

First of all, we want to focus on practical and realistic ways of minimising the damage caused by Brexit, on both sides of the channel.

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At a press briefing in Brussels, Mr Tusk - the former prime minister of Poland - said: "In respecting our partners, we expect the same in return". Otherwise, it would undermine the integrity of the single market. Instead it would describe the arrangement as being "as frictionless as possible". This is the battleground between the two sides, according to one of the diplomats.

He explained that the so-called "Canada+++ deal" was a far-reaching agreement on trade, internal security and foreign policy cooperation, which was "a true measure of respect".

Mr Eastwood said: "The time to deliver on a deal is now". The final version will be considered a "joint statement". I was party leader myself, for 15 years, and I know what the rules of party politics are. Apart from the crucial section on the Irish border, that is nearly finished, the diplomats said.

Additionally, he implied that the EU may be open in principle to the UK's proposition of an emergency Irish border fix before European leaders are next scheduled to meet in 11 days time.

The day after the summit May demanded "respect" from the European Union towards the UK. The UK government has acknowledged that could leave planes grounded and trucks backed up at British ports.

While the European Union is pushing London on the Irish conundrum, the 27 states remaining in the bloc are also fleshing out their proposal of future ties with Britain.