Brexit deal: Downing Street forced to play down idea agreement is days away

Brexit deal: Downing Street forced to play down idea agreement is days away

David Davis: MPs will probably vote against Brexit deal

The letter leaked to The Times newspaper suggests Mrs May could sign a deal which would tie Northern Ireland to the European customs union and single market if future talks collapse. It was sent to Arlene Foster and Nigel Dodds, leader and deputy leader of the DUP. This could threaten the support of the 10 DUP MPs Mrs May relies on for her Parliamentary majority, potentially bringing down the Government.

Related articles David Cameron and Michael Goves families MAKE UP after Brexit row Snearing MEP claims Brexit should be a CRIMINAL WORD on Question Time As part of an exit deal with the EU, the Government is reportedly considering accepting a so-called ‘backstop’, which would see the whole UK remain tied to the EU customs union if future talks on a long-term trading relationship collapse.

On never wanting to use the backstopThe backstop is not, and will never be, our preferred outcome. As I said in my statement to parliament last month, it is an insurance policy that no-one in the UK or the EU wants or expects to use. Our overriding priority is to deliver a future partnership between the EU and the whole of the UK…

Brexit SPLIT: Leaked letter reveals EU concession by May as she ABANDONS Northern Ireland

This would leave the UK subject to trade deals and regulations drawn up by the EU, with little or no say over what goes in them.

Thank you for your letter of November 1 on the United Kingdoms negotiations with the European Union. Your letter has raised a series of issues about the nature of the backstop.

The UK is insisting on the right to withdraw from this backstop, to stop it becoming a permanent relationship.

With an unmatched number of scoops, Brexit has become our most read and commented-on topic since the referendum. Follow key Brexit developments from differing regional perspectives along with expert trusted analysis.

In response, Mrs May’s letter claimed the EU is demanding a “backstop to the backstop”, which would keep Northern Ireland tied to the customs union to prevent a hard border with the Irish Republic should the UK as a whole pull out of the initial backstop without a deal.

With an unmatched number of scoops, Brexit has become our most read and commented-on topic since the referendum. Follow key Brexit developments from differing regional perspectives along with expert trusted analysis.

Mrs May insists in her letter to Mrs Foster that she would never allow this second backstop to be activated.

Brexiters are adamant that there must be a mechanism that would allow the UK to leave, and many back one that would allow the UK to withdraw unilaterally – without Brussels' consent – which has been rejected by figures such as the Irish Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar.

She wrote: “I am clear that I could not accept there being any circumstances or conditions in which that ‘backstop to the backstop’, which would break up the UK customs territory, could come into force.”

The issue of the Irish border has proven to be the main stumbling block in the negotiations, with the UK and EU divided over the issue of a backstop, an arrangement designed to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland.

Theresa May faces down the cabinet

However, the DUP believe the wording suggests the Prime Minister will accept a second backstop being placed in the withdrawal agreement, which will then be legally binding.

If Northern Ireland remains tied to the EU customs union it will continue to have much of its trade policy and product regulation set by Brussels, rather than Belfast or London.

Mrs Foster told The Times: “The Prime Minister’s letter raises alarm bells for those who value the integrity of our precious Union and for those who want a proper Brexit for the whole of the UK.

Ministers are increasingly concerned that Mrs May is about to announce that Britain will be forced to stick with EU rules on state aid, workers rights and the environment. Whitehall sources said that this was the price the EU was understood to be seeking to allow a customs agreement as part of the Northern Ireland backstop, the insurance policy to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Brexiteers fear single market by the backdoor | News

“It appears the Prime Minister is wedded to the idea of a border down the Irish Sea with Northern Ireland in the EU single market regulatory regime.”

Cabinet ministers have told Theresa May that, in signing up to last-minute concessions to the European Union, her Brexit deal must not mean that Britain remains in the single market by the backdoor.

DUP leader Foster says unionists should be alarmed after letter from PM suggests she is wedded to idea of border down Irish Sea

There had been reports that Cabinet will be called for a special session to approve the deal in the coming days.

However, a Government source said reports of an imminent Brexit deal should be taken with “a very large pinch of salt”.

Video: French and British Foreign Ministers to hold bilateral talks | #GME

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