No deal Brexit likely after meeting British MPs, says EU

The reality of the fallout from Britain's decision to leave the EU has only in recent times come into sharp focus for most of

The revelation follows weeks of uncertainty around Brexit negotiations, with the UK Parliament rejecting Prime Minister Theresa May's Withdrawal Agreement and then voting for her to reopen negotiations over a controversial Irish "backstop", meant to avert a hard border between Britain and European Union member-country Ireland in future.

Following the voting in the House of Commons on the Brady amendment last month, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, had reiterated that the backstop was "part and parcel" of the UK's Brexit deal and it will not be renegotiated, throwing the prospect of Britain's orderly exit from the economic bloc into disarray.

With Britain's Parliament at odds over Brexit, Prime Minister Theresa May gathered pro-Brexit and pro-EU Conservative lawmakers into an "alternative arrangements working group" seeking to break the deadlock.

Mrs May's last visit to Northern Ireland was when she was attempting to reach beyond Westminster and drum up support among the public for her Withdrawal Bill.

"I will be armed with a fresh mandate, new ideas and a renewed determination to agree a pragmatic solution that delivers the Brexit the British people voted for, while ensuring there is no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland", she stressed.

"These emergency evacuation plans have been in existence since the Cold War, but have now been repurposed in the event of civil disorder following a no-deal Brexit", the source reportedly said.

The prime minister's trip, which will also take in talks with local businesses, comes as she prepares to return to Brussels to demand the reopening of the Withdrawal Agreement. "It's up to all of us at Westminster to make it work", she said.

The Associated Press reported him as saying: "We need this backstop because it is the only insurance to avoid a hard border at the moment".

Mr Rutte said: "The Withdrawal Agreement remains the only way to ensure an orderly withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union".

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"It must be how, together, we move forwards to shape the opportunities of the future".

However, Mrs Foster's statement ruled out the current backstop, rather than ruling out any backstop.

The DUP leader said her party wanted "an orderly exit from the European Union which works for London, Dublin, Belfast and Brussels".

"Nor do I have time for those who believe the verdict passed by the British people in 2016 should be overturned before it is even implemented", she added, referring to the rump of MPs calling for a second referendum.

He said: "The Irish protocol in the Withdrawal Agreement already allows for alternative arrangements or alternative solutions to the backstop and if they're there they can replace the backstop".

The European Union has so far rejected all of Britain's attempts to amend the Brexit deal claiming the Withdrawal Agreement can not be renegotiated.

The first meeting of the Alternative Arrangements Working Group on Monday was described as "detailed and constructive" by the Brexit department.

German chancellor Angela Merkel struck a more emollient tone.

Britain is due to leave the European Union on March 29 but the withdrawal treaty, which British lawmakers are refusing to ratify due to the backstop arrangements on trade, would let it maintain today's relationship during a transition period until at least the end of next year and possibly a further two years.

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