British PM May briefed inner cabinet 'Brexit deal close'

Theresa May

In addition, Northern Ireland would remain under large parts of single market regulations, requiring enhanced checks on products arriving from Britain, particularly agricultural goods.

"The only visible systematic checks between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom would involve scanning the bar codes on lorries or containers, which should be done on ferries or in transit ports".

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) said it may take "many years" for free trade agreements to generate significant benefits for the United Kingdom after it leaves the European Union.

May will head to Brussels next week in the hope of signing a deal with the remaining 27 members of the bloc, but that agreement remains poised delicately at this stage. No 10 made clear if the DUP voted down the Budget, Mrs May would not quit.

Mrs Clinton called on Northern Ireland's two main communities to set aside their differences and form a temporary executive to offer a unified voice on Brexit.

Agreeing on how to maintain an open Irish border after Brexit is the key hurdle now to sealing a divorce deal between the European Union and Britain.

Mr Wilson said he would "never" vote for a withdrawal deal containing the sort of backstop proposal briefed by Mr Barnier to DUP leader Arlene Foster in Brussels this week.

It was reported, however, that a number of ministers, including Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, Environment Secretary Michael Gove and International Trade Secretary Liam Fox, raised concerns during a meeting lasting around an hour and a half.

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Barnier said Brexit would trigger the need for customs, Value-Added Tax and compliance checks with EU standards between Ireland and Northern Ireland in the event that a planned "backstop" were triggered because a future EU-UK trade deal was not sufficient in itself to ensure the land frontier was not a "hard border".

In a Q&A session with Reuters, Tony Blair advised parliamentarians to vote the Brexit deal down.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, leader of the influential European Research Group of Brexiteer MPs, said: "It is worth remembering that income tax was introduced as a temporary measure".

Mr Barnier said on Wednesday an agreement was "within reach" of being met by next Wednesday, when EU28 leaders gather for a summit in Brussels.

The EU has launched a direct sales pitch to Northern Ireland businesses in an attempt to drive a wedge between the Democratic Unionist party and Theresa May over the backstop solution for the Irish border in Brexit negotiations.

He also stressed the EU's insistence that Britain must accept possible checks on goods moving between its mainland and its province of Northern Ireland, saying Brexit will trigger the need for customs, value-added tax and compliance checks with European Union standards.

"The four most lovely words in the English language: "I told you so".

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