European Union calls for new proposals from Theresa May to break Brexit deadlock

The future of the 310 mile border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic is at the centre of Brexit negotiations

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she still believes it's possible to conclude a "good" agreement with Britain before its withdrawal from the European Union in March, but is stressing that Germany also is preparing for the risk of a no-deal departure.

On Monday, Mrs May insisted that a Brexit deal is still "achievable", despite deadlock in negotiations over the thorny issue of the Irish backstop.

May will address the other 27 European Union national leaders at a summit before they sit down to dinner without her. Officials said they expected the leaders to tell May they have little more to offer since talks stalled on Sunday and they will step up preparations for Britain to drop out of the bloc with no deal.

Instead of "protecting people's jobs and our economy", shouted the Labour leader, as Speaker Bercow ordered MPs to pipe down, the government had spent the past two years "bickering amongst themselves".

It's reported in the Irish Independent today that the idea of extending the two year Brexit transition by one year is being considered to provide more time to develop a temporary customs arrangement between the European Union and the UK.

"I think we are quite close to a no-deal", warned Konrad Szymanski, the Polish minister for European Affairs, after a pre-summit meeting with his European counterparts in Luxembourg.

On Monday, DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds threatened to frustrate Theresa May's minority government should any Brexit deal "break up or fracture" the Union.

Britain leaves the European Union on March 29, but a deal must be sealed soon so parliaments have time to give their verdict.

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She said: "He asks me if the Chequers plan is dead, the answer is no".

The cabinet meeting yesterday did not consider a specific wording on any deal, nor make any decisions, but was a discussion about the negotiations and unity.

He said his party would stop short of pulling the government down and triggering a general election, but added: "Under the fixed term parliament act there is a lot we cannot support in terms of the government's domestic, financial, welfare and other legislation which does not trigger Jeremy Corbyn getting into Number 10".

"However, for a breakthrough to take place, besides goodwill we need new facts".

"The Prime Minister said there would no doubt be challenging moments ahead, as that is in the nature of negotiations".

It was a gruelling House of Commons experience for May, who was grilled by all sides of the Brexit argument and reminded of how many factions she must please to have a chance of getting a Brexit deal through Parliament.

In the Commons however she made clear she would not accept any "backstop" arrangement to ensure the border with the Republic remains open which effectively drew a border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

The mood among pro-Brexit Conservative was summed up by Simon Clark, who told the prime minister directly that she had as "failed to reassure" MPs that the United Kingdom will definitely leave the customs union by December 2020, amid fears that the United Kingdom could be wedded to the EU's customs arrangements for years and years to come.

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