WEATHER AUTHORITY : Dense Fog Advisory View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

EU leaders prepared to extend UK's Brexit transition period

The European Union said Thursday it was ready to extend the length of the transition period designed to smoo...

Posted: Oct 19, 2018 11:30 AM
Updated: Oct 19, 2018 11:30 AM

The European Union said Thursday it was ready to extend the length of the transition period designed to smooth the UK's exit from the 28-nation bloc next year.

The original plan is for a 21-month period starting March 30, 2019, as soon as the UK has left.

Brexit

Continents and regions

Donald Tusk

Europe

European Union

Government organizations - Intl

Northern Europe

Political Figures - Intl

United Kingdom

Theresa May

But with the two sides failing to come to an agreement on how the new relationship will work, UK Prime Minister Theresa May has proposed extending this arrangement "for a few months."

Speaking at a news conference in Brussels following a summit that was dominated by the Brexit issue, Donald Tusk, President of the EU's intergovernmental body, the European Council, said the bloc's leaders had not discussed the period of transition at the meeting, but said it was unlikely to be opposed.

"If the UK decided an extension of the transition period would be helpful to reach a deal, I am sure the leaders would be ready to consider it positively."

Tusk nevertheless confirmed that insufficient progress had been made over the past two days to merit another more conclusive summit next month for final agreement on the terms of the deal, as previously planned.

"I stand ready to convene a European Council on Brexit, if and when the EU negotiator reports that decisive progress has been made," Tusk said. "And, we should be clear that as for now, not enough progress has been made."

But both Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker struck an optimistic note, saying that a Brexit deal is closer.

"I feel today we are closer to final solutions and the deal, but it's maybe a more emotional impression than a rational one. As you know emotions matter in politics," said Tusk.

Tusk said EU leaders had nevertheless agreed to continue the Brexit talks after hearing from May.

Speaking after Tusk, May said Thursday there would be more difficult moments ahead as they reached the final stages of the talks, but added that she was confident in her ability to secure a good deal agreeable to all parties.

"We hope extended transition will not be needed," she said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was more optimistic. "We have been able to reach agreement to a very large degree," she said.

"Time is of the essence, but still we do not have a solution on all fronts, for example we still have to deal with the Irish situation, there is still no really satisfactory answer to this; this cannot be completely separated from the question of what our relationship is going to look like in the future."

The UK is scheduled to leave the EU in five and a half months but so far there has been no agreement on how that should be done, and how 45 years of common legislation in everything from trade to pesticides should be untangled.

The thorniest issue of all is the question of Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK but shares a border with the Irish Republic that is currently open to goods and people. Neither the UK nor Ireland want to change that situation but the EU is insisting that once the UK is out of the EU some form of border controls should be established.

With time running out, the fear is the UK could crash out of the EU with no deal on vitally important issues like tariffs and trade.

Tens of thousands of people are expected to march in London on Saturday to demand a "People's Vote" over the terms of any agreement, which will also have to be ratified by the parliaments of the remaining 27 EU nations.

"The gap between what people were promised in 2016 and the reality of any Brexit deal the Prime Minister finally manages to secure is growing bigger by the day," said Labour David Lammy MP, leading supporter of the People's Vote campaign.

"We are a million miles away from what the Brexit elite once promised. Brexit is already costing jobs and investment, damaging public services, threatening workers' rights and the environment, as well as closing the opportunities our younger generations will need. And it's only going to get worse."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 145636

Reported Deaths: 3745
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto973199
Hinds9668197
Harrison6898109
Jackson6178119
Rankin5319100
Lee487695
Madison4666106
Forrest371386
Jones346788
Lauderdale3355144
Lafayette317549
Washington3122107
Lamar283449
Oktibbeha240861
Bolivar240184
Lowndes229763
Neshoba2177115
Panola215849
Marshall209650
Leflore201490
Pontotoc196128
Monroe191477
Sunflower190555
Lincoln186865
Warren172657
Tate165451
Union163925
Pike160658
Copiah159540
Yazoo152039
Scott150729
Coahoma148743
Itawamba148234
Pearl River146567
Alcorn146327
Simpson145153
Prentiss141230
Adams137949
Grenada137745
Leake131943
Holmes126561
Tippah123030
George122324
Covington119737
Winston119124
Wayne116223
Hancock115939
Marion111646
Attala109833
Tishomingo106542
Chickasaw104132
Newton103629
Tallahatchie96327
Clarke88853
Clay87127
Jasper81222
Walthall75328
Stone73114
Calhoun72913
Montgomery72125
Carroll70614
Lawrence70314
Yalobusha70027
Noxubee69717
Smith69616
Perry65426
Tunica59619
Greene58422
Claiborne57616
Jefferson Davis55017
Humphreys52918
Amite51814
Benton48717
Quitman4816
Webster42114
Kemper41918
Wilkinson38722
Jefferson34211
Franklin3265
Choctaw3117
Sharkey30717
Issaquena1124
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 239318

Reported Deaths: 3532
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson31391491
Mobile19562361
Tuscaloosa12813154
Madison12741146
Montgomery12198235
Shelby1000577
Baldwin847398
Lee764466
Morgan634348
Calhoun6112115
Marshall607954
Etowah606565
Houston517038
DeKalb474736
Cullman428038
Limestone413744
St. Clair409055
Elmore400762
Lauderdale393653
Walker3588108
Talladega343453
Jackson307624
Colbert301941
Blount285539
Autauga268641
Franklin247833
Coffee239715
Dale230354
Dallas224531
Russell22053
Chilton219638
Covington216833
Escambia197431
Chambers173749
Tallapoosa173391
Pike157514
Clarke156319
Marion136535
Winston129923
Lawrence124836
Geneva12028
Pickens119418
Marengo119124
Barbour117010
Bibb116217
Butler114441
Randolph100921
Cherokee100824
Hale94531
Clay90223
Washington90219
Fayette87316
Henry8496
Lowndes79129
Monroe78111
Cleburne75714
Macon72321
Crenshaw70730
Bullock69119
Conecuh68314
Perry6756
Lamar6508
Wilcox63118
Sumter57122
Choctaw41913
Greene41418
Coosa3374
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Few Clouds
39° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 39°
Columbus
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 34°
Oxford
Clear
34° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 34°
Starkville
Overcast
34° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 34°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather