Britain and EU clinch divorce deal to move Brexit talks onto trade

Reuters reports: Britain and the European Union struck a divorce deal on Friday that paves the way for talks on trade, easing pressure on Prime Minister Theresa May and boosting hopes of an orderly Brexit.

The European Commission said “sufficient progress” had been made after London, Dublin and Belfast worked through the night to break an impasse over the status of the Irish border that had scuppered an attempt to clinch a deal on Monday.

PM May, speaking in Brussels, said the deal opened the way for talks that would bring certainty to Britain’s future after quitting the EU.

European Council President Donald Tusk cautioned, though, that while breaking up was hard, building a new relationship would be even harder.

“So much time has been devoted to the easier part of the task,” Tusk said. “And now, to negotiate a transition arrangement and the framework for our future relationship, we have de facto less than a year.”

One senior banker said the deal signaled Britain was heading toward a much closer post-Brexit relationship with the EU than many had feared, indicating that trade will keep flowing between the world’s biggest trading bloc and its sixth-largest national economy. [Continue reading…]

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