Brexit: What would an extended transition mean?

May will meet one-on-one with Tusk at 5:45 pm (1545 GMT) before briefing her 27 European colleagues, but then the rest of the EU leaders will leave to discuss Brexit over dinner without her.

It's reported in the Irish Independent today that the idea of extending the two year Brexit transition by one year is being considered to provide more time to develop a temporary customs arrangement between the European Union and the UK.

The brick wall those talks hit over the Irish border issue has flipped around that logic.

"I have invited Prime Minister May to address the EU27, giving the UK Government's assessment of the negotiations. For a breakthrough we need new facts".

The issues relate to the "backstop" agreement demanded by the EU to avoid a hard border by keeping Northern Ireland within the European customs area.

As the Financial Times says, there have been attempts by Michel Barnier to find a device to provide comfort to Theresa May that the Northern Ireland backstop she hates would never be implemented.

The choreography of Wednesday's summit opening highlights British isolation.

British Prime Minister Theresa May will address 27 European Union national leaders at a summit with summit chair Donald Tusk warning of a "no deal" risk.

If there isn't going to be significant progress from the summit this week, then why is it important?

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Instead, the matter could either be pushed back to December or - more dramatically - the European Union could use the November weekend to meet on preparations for a "no-deal" Brexit.

But despite intense speculation over a possible walkout, no minister at Cabinet indicated they might consider resigning from the Government over Brexit.

However, with her party split - and some Tory MPs openly calling for her to go - Mrs May has little room to manoeuvre if she is to secure a deal which stands any chance of getting through Parliament.

Back in Brussels, a stern Tusk said he had "no grounds for optimism" based on a report Tuesday from Barnier and May's appearance in parliament on Monday. The warning came as Mrs May appealed for loyalty from her ministers, telling them to "stand together and stand firm" to deliver Brexit.

London believes frontier checks can be avoided through a new trade agreement with Brussels, but accepts the need for a fallback plan to address the issue until that deal is agreed.

Mrs May has offered to keep the whole United Kingdom in a customs union, but only for a temporary period.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May peers into a hot water urn during a meeting at a social group in Vauxhall from a charity working to combat loneliness at the launch of the first loneliness strategy, in Vauxhall, London, Monday, Oct. 15, 2018.

May said the EU was also insisting on its own "backstop" in case the London proposal did not work, which would see Northern Ireland alone stay aligned to the customs union and single market.

Economists fear "no deal" Brexit would greatly disrupt trade, travel and manufacturers' supply chains in Europe, push Britain into recession and even have global consequences.

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