Brexit: No deal brings risk of stockpiling says watchdog

12 October, 2018, 02:03 | Author: Regina Silva
  • Sammy Wilson

Can all three ever be satisfied with the terms of a Brexit deal?

May gathered selected members of her cabinet late Thursday to update them on the Brexit talks, and the Financial Times reported that she told them that a deal was drawing closer.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May attends a roundtable meeting with business leaders in London, Britain, October 11, 2018.

Cabinet ministers briefed on the Brexit talks said the issue of the Irish backstop was close to being settled, the FT said.

A day earlier, the DUP had said it was prepared to vote down the budget if the prime minister in their eyes conceded too much ground to Brussels in the European Union talks, risking an abrupt end to the confidence and supply agreement that has kept May in Downing Street since the 2017 election in which the Tories lost their overall majority. Hard Brexiters are concerned the United Kingdom could remain locked into the backstop arrangements indefinitely, particularly if it proves difficult to conclude a free trade deal.

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.

The European Union is doing all it can to ensure checks on goods moving across Northern Ireland's borders would be made "in the least intrusive way possible", for example on ferries, at ports or in factories of origin, he said.

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The British government and leading politicians in Northern Ireland insist they will not agree to a withdrawal treaty that foresees the possibility of Northern Ireland being kept inside the EU's economic area while the British mainland is not.

The DUP has threatened to vote against the government's budget if it goes ahead with the plan.

The support of the Unionist party is crucial to Mrs May, who agreed a "confidence and supply" deal with the DUP in the wake of losing her parliamentary majority in last June's snap election.

The DUP has stepped up warnings to British Prime Minister Theresa May not to compromise over the border on the island of Ireland in her efforts to secure a Brexit deal.

Ahead of the critical European summit next week, some cabinet members want any backstop arrangements - which could place all of the United Kingdom in a customs union after the end of the Brexit transition period in 2020 - to be clearly time-limited.

Such an arrangement would all but end May's chances of securing free trade deals with other countries.

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