Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Brexit Breakthrough Hopes Rise After Cabinet Edges Towards Deal

Two similar letters have been penned to the Taoiseach in the last 12 months Two similar letters have been penned to the Taoiseach in the last 12 months
Frank Williams | 07 November, 2018, 09:42

The prime minister discussed options with ministers that would ensure that the arrangement would be temporary after a number of Brexiters raised concerns that the backstop, used to avoid customs checks at the Northern Irish border, could tie it to the EU customs union in a betrayal of the Brexit vote.

But the spokesman cautioned: "Don't be under any illusion, there remains a significant amount of work to do". In addition, the United Kingdom won't have to pay a penny more to the European Union, which means big increase for Dublin.

The Daily Telegraph reported on Monday that Brexit secretary Dominic Raab had taken a "hardline" stance on the border, insisting that the United Kingdom should have the right to pull out of the backstop via a review process after just three months. The focus was on the way in which the United Kingdom could leave the EU customs union.

Irish premier Leo Varadkar has dealt a blow to British hopes of a breakthrough in Brexit talks, warning he will not accept a deal that gives the United Kingdom unilateral power to halt "backstop" arrangements for the border with Northern Ireland.

Speaking ahead of the publication of Mr Johnson's comments, a Downing Street spokeswoman said: "The Prime Minister is clear we are leaving the customs union".

May spokesman James Slack said she told the ministers she was confident of reaching a deal, but "while the United Kingdom should aim to secure a withdrawal agreement as soon as possible, this should not be done at any cost".

The meeting came as hopes of a special Brexit summit to finalise the withdrawal agreement in November appeared to be receding.

"While the United Kingdom should aim to conclude the Withdrawal Agreement as soon as possible, this would not be done at any cost".

Midterm elections in pictures 2018: Who will win the election TODAY?
Tuesday's results will be colored by the dramatically different landscapes in the fight for the House and Senate. Her aching back made her want to stay put, but the 74-year-old in IN had somewhere she needed to be - the polls.

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Development (DAERA) in Northern Ireland also issued advice on its website.

Mr Barnier added a backstop arrangement "cannot have an end-date" and "must be applicable unless and until another solution is found". Without an operational backstop there will not be an accord and there will not be a transition period.

Theresa May has told Cabinet that she will not agree a withdrawal deal with the European Union "at any cost".

The backstop plan enraged the DUP, which is propping up May's Conservative government at Westminster, and the PM has since said she could "not accept" any deal that would require a customs border between the North and Great Britain.

"Looks like we're heading for no deal", he wrote on Twitter, adding: "Can't understand why Irish government seems so intent on this course".

The Sunday Times report said preparations for a final Brexit deal were "far more advanced than previously disclosed" and that May's agreement would satisfy both remain-voting Tories and the hardline Eurosceptics within her party.

"Such an outcome will have serious consequences for the economy of the Republic".

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