May returns to Brussels seeking Brexit concessions


British Prime Minister Theresa May will seek concessions from the EU on her Brexit deal when she holds talks in Brussels on Thursday, despite the bloc's repeated insistence it is not open to renegotiation.
British lawmakers remain deadlocked over Brexit, and many continue to oppose the withdrawal agreement that May inked with the EU member states in December after 20 months of negotiations.
Fears are growing that Britain could crash out of the EU on the scheduled March 29 exit date without a deal to ease the withdrawal after decades of membership.
The talks in Brussels were expected to be dominated by the stalemate over the border between EU-member Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is in the United Kingdom.
May is seeking changes to the "backstop" protocol in the withdrawal agreement that is designed to guarantee that the Irish border remain open, in order to win parliamentary approval of the Brexit deal.
Some Brexit supporters fear the backstop could leave Britain tied too closely to the EU, by placing Northern Ireland under slightly different and perhaps indefinite arrangements from the rest of the United Kingdom.
"The UK’s objective is to find a way to guarantee we cannot, and will not, be trapped in the backstop," a government source said of Thursday's talks.
"The prime minister is open to different ways to achieve this, but is clear it must be legally binding and therefore [she] will require changes to the withdrawal agreement," the source said, adding that "securing such changes will not be easy."

Thursday, February 7th 2019

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