Belfast Telegraph

PM and Taoiseach Varadkar to meet as May looks for a breakthrough

By David Hughes

Theresa May will meet European leaders including Republic of Ireland counterpart Leo Varadkar as she continues to push for a breakthrough in Brexit talks.

The Prime Minister will meet the Taoiseach on the margins of a major European summit today, with the issue of the Irish border one of the key sticking points in the Brexit negotiations.

Mrs May was also due to have talks with Sweden's prime minister Stefan Lofven last night as his country hosts leaders from across the European Union to promote fair jobs and growth.

The Prime Minister hopes EU counterparts will agree next month that sufficient progress has been made in the first phase of the Brexit talks to move on to discussions about the future trading relationship between the UK and the bloc.

Resolving cross-border issues between Ireland and Northern Ireland as a result of Brexit is one of the main areas where progress is required before EU leaders can agree to move to the next phase of the negotiations - along with citizens' rights and the financial settlement between the UK and EU.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said "you can expect Brexit to come up, along with other issues of importance" in Mrs May's talks with her counterparts.

Today's Gothenburg social summit brings together political leaders and other key players to discuss issues including workers' rights and how to promote fair economic growth.

Mrs May will take part in a working session on fair employment and working conditions and is expected to highlight the findings of the Taylor report, published in July, which examined the treatment of workers in the so-called gig economy.

She will tell fellow leaders "how the UK is addressing issues head-on in relation to the way employment practices are changing and the opportunities and challenges this presents and to point out how we've been consulting with business groups, trade unions and wider stakeholders".

The Government has committed to responding to the Taylor report by the end of the year.

Belfast Telegraph

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