Published: Thu, October 11, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Brexit deal next week 'within reach': Barnier

Brexit deal next week 'within reach': Barnier

In a further blow to No.10, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) also warned that it should not try to "bounce" its MPs into backing the government's plans to avoid a hard border in Northern Ireland.

He added: "If they (the government) decide to cave in to the unreasonable and unnecessary demands which are being promoted by Brussels, then we will have to consider whether or not they have kept their side of the bargain".

DOWNING Street has played down expectations of an agreement on the UK's withdrawal from the European Union at a summit next week, warning that "big issues" remain to be resolved.

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said on Wednesday that although some checks can take place away from the border, those on live animals and animal-derived products would have to take place at the border.

"The confidence and supply arrangement we have with the DUP is a matter of record", he replied.

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Writing in the Telegraph, Sammy Wilson MP, the DUP's Brexit spokesman, said Mrs May was pursuing "the road to parliamentary defeat" because his party would vote against any deal that included the proposed backstop.

"And we are still open - we are still open - to the idea of having a customs union with the UK".

Mrs May is expected to chair a meeting of her most trusted Cabinet members on Thursday in order to finalise her backstop plans before sending them to Brussels.

Just minutes before the news broke that the DUP is considering voting down the budget, a Downing Street source was asked if Mrs May felt she could rely on DUP votes in parliament. The Government has said it will publish revised proposals for the Irish border "in due course".

Former prime minister John Major, whose career as leader was crushed partly by eurosceptics, said the behaviour of some of those Conservatives was "an intolerable way to treat a prime minister who's in the middle of negotiations".

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Davis told HuffPost UK last month that a "rock solid core" of 40 MPs was ready to vote against their government on Brexit.

The de-facto Deputy Prime Minister was pressed on the DUP's support when he appeared on ITV's Peston on Wednesday night.

He also said the European Union wants to carry out Irish border checks after Brexit "in the least intrusive way possible".

It's looking increasingly likely that if May is going to get a Brexit deal through Parliament, she will have to do so without the support of 9 DUP MPs.

Initially framed as the deadline for agreement on the terms of United Kingdom withdrawal from the European Union, division remaining on issues such as the status of the Irish border, and expectations are growing that the final moment of decision will be put back to a special summit in November.

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