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Bridging The Gap
Brexit: Marathon makes EU eager to reach finish line
  Wednesday 16 October, 2019
Brexit: Marathon makes EU eager to reach finish line

The twists and turns of Brexit - after more than three years of negotiations - dominate an EU summit on Thursday, amid signs of an emerging deal.

Intensive negotiations went on all day on Wednesday to nail down complex special arrangements for Northern Ireland, the main sticking point in the UK's exit from the EU.

The threat of a no-deal Brexit at the end of this month energised both sides.

But getting any deal through the UK's divided parliament is a huge challenge

Prime Minister Boris Johnson lacks a majority in parliament, so he is striving to appease his hardline Eurosceptic Conservatives and the Northern Ireland DUP, whose 10 MPs insist on maintaining a strong union with Britain.

Frustration is palpable on both sides: Mr Johnson wants the UK to leave the EU on 31 October "do or die"; and in Brussels the BBC's Katya Adler tweeted that "EU diplomatic and political sources I speak to are sooo fatigued with this process".

The EU has already extended the UK's Article 50 withdrawal negotiations twice.

But the rush to finalise a deal this week is causing alarm in some quarters.

EU officials expect another extension - perhaps shorter than three months - will still be needed to resolve legal technicalities.

Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-50077358

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