Details of the informal EU meeting in Salzburg
The EU open an informal meeting today to discuss three topics, security, migration and Brexit. It kicks off tonight with an informal dinner of heads of state and this is where Theresa May is going to give her latest sales pitch of the UK’s Brexit plan. According to reports, she is being allowed a 10-minute slot to make her speech and officially, there’s not going to be a discussion, negotiations or questions. The other members are going to hear what she says and then tuck into their puddings.
When are the potential headline risk points?
- 15.00 local time (14.00 BST/13.00 GMT – Tusk to give a press briefing ahead of the meeting – This is a new addition to today’s program and not on the original program press release. It’s likely to be Tusk dumbing down any outcomes of what to expect.
- 18.40 local time (17.40 BST/16.40 GMT) The leaders arrive so there’s the possibility of some doorstep comments
- 19.30 local time – Dinner starts. They will be discussing migration over this dinner but it’s where May will make her speech. It should be a closed event but we may get the odd leak of what May has said either during or after so we’ll be open to headline lottery
- 8.45 local – EU heads arrive for the day’s meetings. Again, we could get some doorstep comments.
- 9.30 – The first session starts on security and I believe May will be part of this
- 13.00 – The working lunch on Brexit starts with the EU 27. They will be reviewing the progress and discussing the way forward. They will also be focusing on the future EU/UK partnership, how to organise the final phase of talks, and whether to call a summit in Nov and the need for a legally operations backstop in Ireland
- 15.00 – There’s a press conference with Tusk and Juncker
It was stated previously that there was unlikely to be any sort of statement or directions coming from this meeting so I don’t know if this presser is a new addition or has been there all the time. This is where we could get the official view on May’s speech, so could be a risk event.
Finally, I’m expecting to get comments from May at some point, if there’s some good news. She’ll be shouting from the roof tops if there is a positive reaction to her speech or any indication that the Chequers plan is gaining some further traction.
Overall, there’s plenty of possible headline risk so expect the usual positive vibes from the UK and a mix of possibly negative, mildly positive and “not so fast” type comments from the EU side. GBP will be at the mercy of the tape bombs.