Irish PM sees chances fading for Brexit deal in November Reuters, Helsinki

May under pressure from all sides over Brexit legal advice

European Union negotiator Michel Barnier, who also met Sipila, said it was impossible to say when the divorce talks would conclude, adding that there would be no deal without a solid fix for the Irish border.

"I do think that, with every day that passes, the possibility of having a special summit in November becomes less likely", Varadkar told reporters after a meeting with Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipila.

"But we do have one scheduled for the 13th, 14th of December, so not getting it done in November doesn't mean we can't get it done in the first two weeks of December".

"But I think beyond that you're into the new year which I think wouldn't be a good thing". Negotiators from both sides are, however, still at odds over ways to guarantee an open Irish border no matter how Brexit goes.

"We will have to fight against those who want to demolish Europe with their fear, their populist deceit", he told more than 700 EPP delegates in Helsinki, before naming the former Ukip leader Nigel Farage.

Barnier was speaking as Brexit talks were in stalemate over the issue of the Irish backstop - an insurance plan to avoid creating a hard border on the island of Ireland. The clock is ticking.

The concerns focus on Mr Cox's advice on how an exit from the backstop could be found to make sure the United Kingdom is not permanently kept within a customs union which would severely curtail its ability to strike free trade deals with nations around the world - a key prize for Brexiteers.

More news: Democrat Whitmer wins MI governor's race

"Without a backstop there will be no deal. It is as simple as that", Barnier said. A crucial cabinet meeting to agree the UK's Brexit negotiating position was delayed from Thursday to the weekend or early next week amid a row over whether senior ministers should be given the government's full legal advice on the backstop.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, in Helsinki, said that British Prime Minister Theresa May "is, as we are, chose to have the deal, and we will have a deal".

Mrs May updated European Council president Donald Tusk on the state of the Brexit talks on Wednesday.

A meeting of foreign ministers of the 27 has been called for next Monday in Brussels, during which they will be informed by Michel Barnier of the state of the work with London, announced on Wednesday that the council of the European Union in a press release.

Many ministers have backed a mechanism that would allow the Britain to leave unilaterally, on its own accord.

Later, addressing leaders of the European People's Party group, Barnier warned of the threat that rising nationalism and populism pose to the EU ahead of European Parliament elections in May.

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