Britain and European Union reach historic deal on Brexit divorce terms

Britain EU reach Brexit divorce deal

Britain EU reach Brexit divorce deal

"We stand ready to receive prime minister May at any moment in time when they are ready", Margaritis Schinas, chief spokesman for commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker, told reporters in Brussels.

"But I would like to repeat what President Juncker said on this, namely that this will have to happen this week, in this building".

Britain and the European Union made a significant breakthrough Friday in Brexit talks, after a flurry of overnight telephone calls between British Prime Minister Theresa May and Irish and EU leaders bridged differences over Irish borders. Everyone recognises that there are special circumstances that apply in Northern Ireland and that everything must be done to avoid a return to the borders of the past, but the deal that was on the table earlier this week was a failure of logic, diplomacy, and political common sense.

She was also due to hold talks Friday with European Council President Donald Tusk, who will chair next Thursday's summit, while her Brexit envoy David Davis was meeting with his EU counterpart Michel Barnier.

They meet in Brussels in a week to decide whether enough ground has been made to broaden the talks to future relations and trade, as Britain so badly wants.

The EU says May has an effective deadline of Sunday night if she wants to seal a deal and hope to have agreement on trade talks in time for the EU summit on December 14-15.

The border between Ireland, a member of the European Union (EU), and the British province of North Ireland, is one of the three major issues to be resolved before an agreement is reached by London and Brussels over the British exit from the regional bloc.

A deal fell apart on Monday when the UK's pledge of "regulatory alignment" across Ireland - to avoid border customs checks and posts - was vetoed by the DUP. May is struggling to balance those demands against the concerns of Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, which she relies on to support her government in Parliament.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, a leader of the Brexit campaign, insisted the whole of the United Kingdom must "take back control" when it left the EU.

"There will be areas where we do do things in a very similar way, there will be areas in which we don't do things in the a very similar way and that's all the PM was seeking to ensure - to make sure trade flows as freely as possible across the border".

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