London has all but given up hope for reaching an agreement on leaving the European Union that could be finalized this month, a UK government source says.
“There’s no breakthrough at the moment,” the source told The Guardian newspaper on Monday, insisting that there remained too many sticking points to complete the talks this month as it had been originally hoped for.
Britain and the EU had expressed hope that a broad deal on Brexit could be reached this week so that Brussels could call an extraordinary summit of leaders to endorse the agreement.
However, the two sides seem to be still at odds to compromise on a mechanism that could guarantee there will be no checks after Brexit on their only land border between Ireland and the British province of Northern Ireland.
Negotiations were planned to continue until 2.45 a.m. on Monday, reports said, but there was no prospect of any immediate breakthrough, according to the government source.
Now, everyone hopes Britain and the EU could present their deal for ratification at a scheduled EU summit on 13 and 14 December.
British Prime Minister Theresa May’s failure to conclude the talks with the EU has revived criticism about her Brexit strategy as both the opposition and senior lawmakers from her own Conservative Party call for a revision of the public vote in June 2016 to leave the EU after more than 40 years of membership.
Some others have called for May to step down and assign the responsibility for negotiating a Brexit deal to a fierce pro-Brexit Conservative.
Brexit can be stopped
A senior member of the Labour Party said Monday that there was well a chance for a second Brexit referendum.
Keir Starmer, Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary, said the party was open to a move that could halt Brexit despite assertions by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn who has insisted several times, including in a Friday interview with Germany’s Der Spiegel, that results of the original referendum, in which Britons voted 52-48 to leave the EU, must be respected.
“Brexit can be stopped – but the real question is what are the decisions we are going to face over the next few weeks and months,” Starmer told Sky News.