Hold tight for a Brexit breakthrough, May tells Cabinet

Mindy Sparks
November 6, 2018

The EU's position to avoid a hard border has been for Northern Ireland to remain within the EU's customs union.

The EU agreed to a compromise on the backstop agreement to keep the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland last week, signalling they would accept keeping the whole of the United Kingdom in a customs union until both sides sign up to a deal that would prevent the need for a hard border. 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.

He told Belgian broadcaster RTBF that "there is still a real point of divergence on the way of guaranteeing peace in Ireland, that there are no borders in Ireland, while protecting the integrity of the single market".

May's official spokesman warned reporters: "Don't be under any illusion, there remains a significant amount of work to do".

The meeting came as hopes of a special Brexit summit to finalise the withdrawal agreement in November appeared to be receding.

Theresa May is expected to put pressure on ministers to agree to a different solution to the Irish backstop which she discussed with Leo Varadkar in an unscheduled phone call on Monday.

If this was correct and Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab left the cabinet meeting smiling then the a deal covering terms of the U.K.'s withdrawal from the European Union may be a lot further away than the market is now giving it credit for, suggesting the Pound could be vulnerable to fresh losses once clarity emerges.

Last week the Irish prime minister said Brexit was fraying relations between Ireland and Britain.


Northern Ireland's DUP, which May's minority government relies on to get legislation through parliament, has vowed to scupper any Brexit deal that treats the province differently from the rest of the United Kingdom.

Some ministers said they wanted detailed legal advice so they understood the deal fully before they agreed on it.

Mr Matheson, speaking in Treasury questions, said: 'The Government's own figures demonstrate between a 2% and 8% hit on the broader economy on Brexit, so isn't it the case that there is no form of Brexit that won't have a massive impact on the public finances and therefore on public services?'

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.

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

Looks like we're heading for no deal.

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.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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