Ireland says United Kingdom can not unilaterally ditch border backstop in Brexit negotiations

Brexit Minister Dominic Raab has been visiting Northern Ireland

Reports at the weekend suggested that the EU is now ready to contemplate concessions which would keep all of the United Kingdom in a temporary customs union following the end of a transition period due to end on December 31 2020.

Mrs May failed to resolve the impasse over the Irish border in a phone call with the Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

Rumours are swirling about how close, or not, we are to a Brexit deal.

She urged him to "show leadership" and not "leave behind" the people of Northern Ireland.

Downing Street officials misled ministers at the time.

A so-called "transition" or "implementation" period of two years - possibly longer - in which Britain will remain entirely subject to the EU's rules and regulations without representation in European Union institutions after the actual departure date appears to be all but certain in any deal which is struck.

The Conservative MP said that Tony Blair's failure to publish his own government's legal advice from its then attorney-general on the Iraq war meant that the Labour prime minister's reputation "never recovered".

Mrs May will meet with her cabinet tomorrow to brief ministers on the status of Brexit negotiations, and to persuade them to rally round her solution to the Irish border issue.

The newspaper also said May is on course to secure an agreement on a "future economic partnership" that would let Britain keep open the prospect of a free trade accord similar to the one Canada has with the EU.

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Mr Brokenshire, appearing on television, was asked if a deal was close, replying: "Well, we want to get that deal, we're obviously working hard to see that that happens".

"Obviously still having this issue in relation to the insurance arrangements for Northern Ireland and Ireland, and that very much remains our focus and attention in getting that deal". The prime minister has been clear that we are making good progress on the future relationship and 95% of the withdrawal agreement is now settled.

"There is no competitor worthy of replacing us", Glen said, adding there would be no regulatory "isolation" or race to the bottom in financial rules after Brexit.

The UK would effectively become a non-voting member of the European Union, forced to accept laws made in Brussels with no power to shape or amend them, he said.

May is under intense pressure from several members of her cabinet to secure a mechanism by which any backstop agreements can be time limited and able to be terminated by the UK.

Both sides agree there must be no customs posts or other barriers that could disrupt businesses and residents or undermine Northern Ireland's peace.

UK Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab.

Grieve rejected the argument that MPs should back whatever deal Theresa May secures in order to avoid a disorderly exit from the European Union, repeating his call for any deal to be put to a second referendum.

More than 70 business leaders, including lastminute.com founder Martha Lane Fox and former J. Sainsbury Plc chief Justin King - signed a letter arguing that both the government's current plans for Brexit, and a no-deal Brexit, would be bad for companies and jobs.

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