Brexit emergency summit set for 25th November in Brussels to confirm Theresa May’s deal

Irish PM says summit would be held later this month if UK Cabinet agrees to draft .

EU leaders would gather in Brussels later this month to confirm Theresa May’s Brexit deal if her Cabinet approves the latest draft, Ireland’s prime minister has said.

Leo Varadkar told the Irish parliament that the date of the planned summit was now 25 November, a Sunday.

He also revealed that a draft text on the 500-page agreement could be made public on Wednesday evening if discussions in the UK cabinet go smoothly.

The Taoiseach briefed his own cabinet on Wednesday morning on the possible deal, before fielding questions from members of the Dáil in Leinster House.

“Should the UK cabinet be in the position this afternoon to say it’s content with the text, it is proposed that the Commission taskforce would be in a position perhaps tonight to publish the text with the possibility or probability of an EU council meeting around the 25th of November,” he said.

Mr Varadkar also said he believed the text of the agreement should be put to a vote in the Irish parliament, and that he was confident it would not impact on the Good Friday agreement.

The Irish prime minister added: “Back in December when the joint report – the agreement between the EU and UK – was issued, I said the next step was to turn that joint report that we agreed back in December into a legally binding and legally operable withdrawal agreement and we are close to that point today.

“But it is still a draft agreement. It is yet to be agreed by the UK Government and they will discuss it this afternoon and it is yet to be agreed by the European Council and we may be in a position to have an emergency European Council meeting before the end of the month to do exactly that.”

Theresa May is meeting her cabinet on Wednesday afternoon for crunch discussions about the draft. She is expected to face serious opposition from some eurosceptic ministers. EU ambassadors from the 27 countries are also meeting in Brussels this afternoon where they will be filled in by deputy chief Commission negotiator Sabine Weyand.

 

independent.co.uk

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