DUP: We are heading for no deal Brexit

06 November, 2018, 21:58 | Author: Darnell Taylor
  • Ireland's Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

Mrs May assured ministers that there would be another Cabinet before any agreement is settled, though her official spokesman said no extra meeting has yet been scheduled ahead of the regular weekly gathering next Tuesday.

With just five months until Britain is due to leave the EU, May has yet to nail down a divorce deal, with the insurance arrangement to keep open the border between British-ruled Northern Ireland and EU member state Ireland still the outstanding issue.

After that, it must go back to the leaders of the European Union member nations who would meet at a "special summit" before the end of the month.

"For now, we are still negotiating and I am not, as I am speaking to you this morning, able to tell you that we are close to reaching an agreement", he said. She said that, while the United Kingdom should aim to secure a withdrawal agreement as soon as possible, this would not be done at any cost.

She and her senior ministers discussed plans for a "review mechanism" to ensure the United Kingdom is not placed permanently in a backstop arrangement aimed at avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland.

Hardliner Michel Barnier was characteristically belligerent, insisting that the "backstop means backstop" and there is "still a real point of divergence" on the Northern Ireland issue.

The prime minister told cabinet that they would have another meeting before any agreement was settled, with No 10 insiders concerned a deal should be agreed by the end of this month if it is to be voted on before the United Kingdom leaves the EU.

Expectations are rising that United Kingdom negotiator Olly Robbins will be pressing hard to finalise a deal in Brussels this week, to set the scene for a special Brexit summit later in the month to secure the approval of the leaders of the 27 remaining member states.

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"For the past few days, Raab had been aiming for a provision on the Irish backstop which could help pave the way to a Brexit deal", says Christopher Vecchio, an analyst at Daily FX, in a blog post.

"We are not sitting on powder keg knowledge that we have signed a secret deal", the No 10 source said.

He argued that Britain would effectively become a non-voting member of the European Union, having to accept laws made in Brussels with no power to influence them.

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

Donaldson said that he could not understand why the Irish government "seems so intent on this course".

The optimism was fuelled by growing hopes of a Brexit deal breakthrough after a cabinet meeting.

Both Brexit-supporting MPs on the British mainland and Northern Irish represenatives have threatened to vote down in parliament any deal struck by May that separates Irish province from Great Britain or that leaves the United Kingdom within the EU's legislative orbit for an indefinite period of time.

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