Deal on Irish border not close, says Michel Barnier

Posted November 08, 2018

More than 70 business figures are calling for a public vote on the final terms of Britain's exit from the European Union, warning that the country faces "either a blindfold or a destructive hard Brexit", The Sunday Times also reported.

Theresa May will be able to persuade her Cabinet to support her preferred Brexit deal - but only after more of her ministers resign, according to a government source.

The EU has suggested that the tweaked "two-tier" backstop covering all of the United Kingdom could give mainland Britain some scope to set its own trade rules - a central demand of Brexiteers - while keeping Northern Ireland aligned with the EU.

Ireland is willing to examine ways in which a "backstop" to keep the Irish border open after Brexit could be reviewed so long as it does not permit Britain to unilaterally walk away from it, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Monday.

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"In terms of resolving those, those talks are ongoing", the spokesman said.

But he made clear he would not accept an arrangement which gave the United Kingdom unilateral powers to ditch the customs union without the agreement of Brussels. It is Belfast after "breccia" will continue to obey the Customs Union of the EU and numerous rules of the single market.

However, while it was backed by 63% of people who voted Remain, it was backed by just 20% of Leave voters.

Figures showed that 45% of people thought Brexit would be good for immigration levels, while 24% said it would be bad, and 31% said it would make no difference.

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The Brexit Secretary, Dominic Raab, is in talks with Northern Irish politicians whilst Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington and Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley went to the Republic of Ireland's capital of Dublin.

The authors of the survey in a communiqué, claim, "We now estimate that the United Kingdom would vote to stay in the European Union by a majority of 54% of the votes against 46%" in favour of leaving.

"Looks like we're heading for no deal", Jeffrey Donaldson, one of 10 Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) lawmakers whose support May now needs to get any deal passed in the British parliament, said on Twitter.

However, the newspaper also reported that the new deal will include an "exit clause" created to convince those who support Brexit that remaining in the customs union is only temporary.

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Britain would remain in a temporary customs union with the EU, avoiding a hard Irish border, as part of a new deal being thrashed out between London and Brussels, according to a Sunday Times report.