Sterling leapt higher against the Euro, Dollar and other major currencies on December 4 after markets believed Theresa May was going to Brussels to sign-off on the tricky issues of the settlement bill, Northern Irish border and citizens rights. With the country's exit from the European Union membership, drug regulation, medicine delivery, and trading activities across Europe may almost arrive to a standstill, say experts.
10 a.m. - Juncker chairs weekly European Commission meeting at which Barnier will update them on progress.
Leaders' advisers, known as "sherpas", meet in Brussels in Monday to prepare the summit. The EU must deem there to be "sufficient progress" in all three areas of contention for Brexit talks to move onto the next phase in December.
Scottish First Minister and Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon tweeted, "If one part of United Kingdom can retain regulatory alignment with European Union and effectively stay in the single market... there is surely no good practical reason why others can't".
But, they warn, other member states, including powerhouses Germany and France, are growing nervous that they will not have enough time to scrutinise draft guidelines for the trade negotiations if they do not receive them a week before a summit next Friday at which leaders would approve them.
London has broadly agreed to numerous EU's divorce terms, including paying out something like 50 billion euros.
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Brussels officials said they had no reason to doubt the confidence being expressed in London that May would sort out the hitch in the coming days and expect her to return to brief EU Brexit negotiators as early as Wednesday. British newspaper reports that it would cost up to 55 billion euros sparked only muted criticism from May's hardline pro-Brexit allies who once rejected big payments.
"We want to see a sensible Brexit where the Common Travel Area is continued, we meet our financial obligations, have a strictly time-limited implementation period and where the contribution of European Union migrants to our economy is recognised in a practical manner". They include an end to free movement of people from the EU into Britain and for the European Court of Justice to have no further role in British legal matters after March 2019.
Earlier, Tánaiste Mr Coveney said: "The indications we have is that we are in a much better place now than we have been in the negotiations to date". But the issue could be vital to ensure ratification of the withdrawal treaty by the European Parliament.
"We have made a lot of progress over the last weeks". London says the detail depends on the future trade agreement. However, politically, the agreement was toxic for even suggesting a different arrangement between Northern Ireland and the rest of Britain on trading terms and a shared trading identity with the south.
The EU says that means the whole of the United Kingdom would then have to follow EU rules, something Brexit campaigners do not want. "I am very confident that we will reach an agreement in the course of this week", added the former Luxembourg premier.
Ireland, with the blessing of the EU-27, says it will veto any move to Phase 2 if Britain's border offer is unsatisfactory.
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