Cabinet invited to read near-complete Withdrawal Agreement

Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, speaking yesterday on the likelihood of concluding the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement at a special summit this month, said “I think it’s possible for us to come to an agreement in November with a view to having a summit in November, but I do think with every day that passes the possibility of having a special summit in November becomes less likely.” He added, “Not getting it done in November doesn’t mean we can’t get it done in the first two weeks in December.” This comes as Finish Prime Minister Juha Sipila said, “It’s doable in November… In our December meeting there is a possibility to find a solution. All the issues are in the landing zone.”

Elsewhere, EU officials have said an informal Brexit summit on 17-18 November is no longer likely, due to a lack of “decisive progress” in negotiations. The EU has also reportedly delayed a meeting of EU27 ambassadors, which had been scheduled today, until the end of this week, Reuters reports. The meeting was intended to update the EU27 on progress in Brexit talks.

Separately,  Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab yesterday said, that the UK’s trade in goods is “particularly reliant on the Dover-Calais crossing,” adding, “And that is one of the reasons why we have wanted to make sure we have a specific and very proximate relationship with the EU, to ensure frictionless trade at the border. I don’t think it is a question so much of the risk of major shortages, but I think probably the average consumer might not be aware of the full extent to which the choice of goods that we have in the stores are dependent on one or two very specific trade routes.”

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