Lot's of conflicting noise around. Firm predictions a mug's game.
So here's what I know, after chats with both sides 1/Thread
On the positive side....a gathering political momentum for quick progress. This is shared jointly in London (which wants vote by Xmas) but also, EU sources say, by Tusk/Junker who are frankly bored with Brexit
But opposing this... /2
At October EUCO there was also a sense from Macron/Merkel, I understand, that they could run to DEC.
a) a tactical move, dangling the carrot, sucking teeth, puffing cheeks to signal May needs to make deep concessions to win her November prize (you cd question tactics of No 10 has advertising its desperation)
Recall that for months @MichelBarnier and the Commission has said it was impossible/illegal.
Now they have been bounced into doing it, but Barnier still has same mandate to protect EU27 interests... /6
For all that goodwill pushing one way, pushing back is the reality that hastily forcing big future relationship issues into the Withdrawal Agreement opens a Pandora's Box of new issues.
Take fish for one...
So question (which everyone assumed would be part of future talks after Mar 2019) is the UK giving access to UK fishing grounds to EU fishing boats? /10
And UK politicians, who have talked a big game on fish and 'taking back control' may not want to give an answer. /11
If Article 50 is to be used as legal base for backstop and all-UK relationship, it needs to be a 'bridge' - to where? to what?
Again tough questions for Mrs May. Can she admit that it's not "Norway for Now", but really, "Backstop for Now".../12
One old hand sees MS getting a 'skeleton' next week, capitals give comments, a full draft (pre-cooked as it was) is produced and.../18