Opinion: Brexit has reached a dead end

The UK’s Brexit negotiations with the European Union are at an impasse — that’s according to Prime Minister Theresa May. In a letter to her own divided Conservative party, she admits that, surrounded by red lines she is not allowed to cross, she can neither push ahead nor turn back. Brexit can’t be too soft or too hard, or else the various parties and the EU will be unable to reach an agreement.

Brussels has rejected May’s latest proposal, which would have meant negotiating a kind of free trade area only for goods. Just 11 percent of UK citizens liked that plan, according to opinion polls. Negotiations resume in Brussels this week. However, the teams accompanying EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier and the UK’s Brexit minister, Dominic Raab, wonder what they will be negotiating.

There are no viable proposals either on trade issues or the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland. The British government is set on a vague statement about its future relationship with the EU. However, Brussels is insisting on a concrete exit treaty that would at least finalize essential questions regarding finances, borders and civil rights. It is clear that time is getting short. A Brexit deal is supposed to be in place by the end of October. That is tight.

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