The EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier says "that there is still a lot of work to be done" before a Brexit agreement can be concluded with the British government about leaving the EU. Barnier talked to the EU ambassadors on Sunday about his & #8220; constructive & #8221; technical level consultations with the United Kingdom.
The conversations will continue on Monday. Barnier updates the EU European Affairs Ministers in Luxembourg on Tuesday about the state of affairs.
London and Brussels decided to intensify the talks on Friday, when it seemed that the British had reached some sort of agreement with neighboring Ireland. There is great pressure to make progress in the run-up to the EU summit at the end of this week.
There was some optimism on both sides that an agreement could be reached. At the same time, EU insists on the need to prevent a hard border in Ireland and to maintain the integrity of the European internal market.
Time is running out, because there must be an outline agreement before next Thursday that can be submitted to the leaders of the European countries. If they approve an agreement during the EU summit on 17 October, this should also be piloted by the lower house. But Johnson has no majority there and is heavily dependent on the support of the Northern Irish regional party DUP.
If a Brexit agreement cannot be reached next week, Johnson will be confronted with a law passed by the British Parliament early this month. This law obliges Johnson to request a postponement for the Brexit, if there is no agreement this week on an orderly departure on 31 October.
Johnson has always said publicly that he would prefer a no-deal Brexit on October 31 than delaying the Brexit. If the weather comes to a halt, chances are that the British will head for new elections.