Theresa May hails 'new dynamic' in Brexit talks as EU leaders give green light to final stage

Posted On: 
23rd March 2018

EU leaders have given the green light to talks on the future trade relationship between Britain and the EU in a major boost for Theresa May.

Theresa May has been at the European Council summit in Brussels
PA Images

The Prime Minister hailed a “new dynamic” in the negotiations as the other 27 member states signed off on guidelines for the final stage of talks.

They also rubber stamped a Brexit transition agreement for between April 2019 and December 2020 that was announced on Monday.

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Speaking in Brussels this morning during the European Council summit, Mrs May declared: “I believe there’s a new dynamic now in the negotiations.

“I believe we are approaching this with the spirit of cooperation and spirit of opportunity for the future as well.”

She added that the transition agreement “gives certainty to people and businesses” meaning they would only have to make “one change when we enter into the new relationship with the European Union in the future”.

Ongoing issues such as the future of the Northern Ireland border and Gibraltar remain sticking points to be hammered out as talks continue.

European Council President Donald Tusk took to Twitter this morning to announce that the negotiating guidelines for the next round of talks had been agreed.

In one ominous change to the previous draft of the guidelines, the text adds that trade friction arising from Brexit will have negative economic consequences “in particular in the United Kingdom”.

It also says any free trade deal with the EU will depend on the UK maintaining “existing reciprocal access to fishing waters and resources” – a potentially incendiary clause for Brexit supporters.

And in a further headache to anti-EU campaigners, it added: “Any future framework should safeguard financial stability in the Union and respect its regulatory and supervisory regime and standards and their application.”

Brexit Secretary David Davis said there had been “much progress” made on Brexit this week as he voiced his pleasure at the latest developments.

In a separate boost for Theresa May the 27 other EU leaders gave their firm backing to the UK on Russia in the wake of the nerve agent attack in Salisbury.