Financial Times reports: UK PM Theresa May says Brexit deal is close

12 October, 2018, 05:53 | Author: Brooke Harris
  • Theresa May looking isolated in Salzburg

Sammy Wilson, the DUP's Brexit spokesman, warned the PM was pursuing "the road to parliamentary defeat" because his party would vote against any deal that included the proposed backstop, branded a "sell-out".

EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier has said there could be a deal by next Wednesday but only on the condition the Prime Minister agrees to install a border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

Selmayr, secretary general of the European Commission, has been tasked with coordinating preparedness to protect the EU from economic and political damage if Britain leaves the bloc on March 29 next year without a divorce deal in place.

British and European Union negotiators are understood to have agreed in principle to an all-UK backstop plan to avoid a hard border in Northern Ireland that would remove the final major obstacle blocking a withdrawal agreement.

McVey's formulation echoed that used on Tuesday by Penny Mordaunt, the global development secretary, who said that while "the prime minister can count on my support" she did not know "where this is going to end up".

Both the European Union and Britain have signalled progress in recent days, boosting sentiment in financial markets which fear the most damaging no-deal Brexit. "There are big issues still to resolve".

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The de-facto Deputy Prime Minister was pressed on the DUP's support when he appeared on ITV's Peston on Wednesday night.

One official close to Brexit talks said May never brings the cabinet together to tell them recent developments and so "it feels to me like the deal is practically done", the FT quoted the official as saying.

The Democratic Unionist Party, which props up Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative government, threatened to vote against the forthcoming budget if she makes a deal that disadvantages Northern Ireland.

But this could see checks on goods travelling from mainland Britain to Northern Ireland - what Foster described as "an effective one-way turnstile". He said Mrs May was committed "heart and soul, not just cerebrally" to the Union and would only put her name to a deal that "treats Northern Ireland on a par as a full part of the United Kingdom".

The EU suggests Northern Ireland stay aligned with its customs union and single market during that period, and there are signs the British government could accept elements of this plan.

Sir Ivan Rogers said there had been "culpable naivety" in the negotiations, and neither Theresa May nor Boris Johnson's plans had any chance of agreement by Brussels.

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