Emerging: What happened at the EU summit and how it was covered


What happened

  • After the EU summit meeting and the UK prime minister’s dinner with EU leaders yesterday, the European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, said he did not believe that Britain would leave the European Union with no Brexit deal.
  • Theresa May is leaving the summit today while EU leaders talk about the progress that has been made since it triggered article 50 on March 29 2017.
  • The 27 EU counterparts agreed at the Brussels summit that not enough progress had been made to begin formal trade talks now, but have said they will start preparing for them internally. May admitted herself that “there is some way to go” in negotiations.
    • May’s government had hoped that “the divorce bill” – the amount the UK will pay the EU – would be settled by now so a second phase of negotiations around trade talks could have begun at this summit.
  • While the divorce bill hasn’t been settled, EU leaders have responded more positively to May since her speech in Florence two weeks ago, in which she said that the UK would continue paying into the EU budget until 2020, because she wants a two year transitional period after the UK officially leaves in March 2018.
    • If the UK left the EU without paying anything towards a divorce bill it would leave a £20bn black hole in its budget, according to the BBC’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg.
  • Angela Merkel
  • EU leaders concluded that “insufficient progress” has been made in negotiations on a number of issues, including citizens’ rights, the UK’s financial obligation and the border in Northern Ireland. The decision was reached after a discussion of just 90 seconds, according to Politico.
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel said “in contrast to how it is portrayed in the British press, my impression is that these talks are moving forward step by step.”

Headlines from online UK newspapers

Positive:

The Sun – “REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL – Donald Tusk says EU will prepare to talk Brexit trade deal in December as Theresa May ‘optimistic and positive’ we can reach an agreement”

The Telegraph – “Angela Merkel says there is ‘zero indication’ Brexit talks will fail”

Negative:

i – “Theresa May pleads for Brexit deal we can ‘defend to our people”

The Express – “Time to WALK May?! PM says no REAL progress as divorce bill BLOCKS Brexit”

The Financial Times – “Theresa May asks EU not to back her into corner on Brexit”

The Independent – ‘Theresa May admits for the first time that Brexit negotiations have been in ‘difficulty”

Mixed:

The Guardian – “Brexit trade talks will be more complicated than first phase, says Merkel”

The Mirror – “Theresa May has said she is ‘ambitious and positive’ for Britain’s negotiations with the EU but there is still ‘some way to go'”

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