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Press releases

Brussels summit to warn 'no substantial progress' made on Irish border amid no deal Brexit fears

2 min read

EU leaders are set to warn that "no substantial progress" has been made on solving the row over the Irish border amid fears the UK is heading for a no deal Brexit.

According to The Independent, the conclusions of next week's European Council summit in Brussels will say that Britain must provide "further clarity" on the type of relationship it wants with the bloc in the future.

The 27 other EU member states will also be told to "work on preparedness at all levels for all outcomes" - a clear hint that Britain could fail to strike a withdrawal agreement in time.

Officials routinely draw up draft communiques ahead of summits which are then usually approved by national leaders with little or no changes to the wording.

The document says: "The European Council expresses its concern that no substantial progress has yet been achieved on agreeing a backstop solution for Ireland/Northern Ireland.

"It recalls the commitments undertaken by the UK in this respect in December 2017 and March 2018, and insists on the need for intensified efforts so that the withdrawal agreement, including its provisions on transition, can be concluded as soon as possible in order to come into effect on the date of withdrawal."

It goes on: "Work must also be accelerated with a view to preparing a political declaration on the framework for the future relationship. This requires further clarity from the UK as regards its position on the future relationship."

And it adds: "The European Council renews its call upon member states and all stakeholders to step up their work on preparedness at all levels for all outcomes."

A spokesman for the Prime Minister said: "You can set your watch by draft guidelines leaking before EU council."

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