Theresa May Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg
By Emma Ross-Thomas
October 19, 2018, 9:30 AM GMT+3
161 Days to Go
Today in Brexit: It wasn’t all bad news in Brussels, though Theresa May’s concessions have gone down badly at home.
The Brexit summit fell far short of the breakthrough that it was long touted to be. But a tiny glimmer of progress is emerging.
The two sides are inching toward a plan that could clear the path to a deal, Tim Ross and Ian Wishart report. The idea that’s breathing new life into the negotiations is an old one. Some might call it extend and pretend, or just taking a bit more time to get to the final destination.
Both sides now think there’s merit in keeping the U.K. inside the European Union’s full membership rules for longer after it formally leaves the bloc, with an option to extend the 21-month transition period past December 2020.
That would give negotiators more time to resolve the biggest obstacle blocking a deal: how to avoid customs checks at the border between the U.K. and Ireland, without erecting new barriers between Northern Ireland and the rest of the U.K.