Published: Fri, October 12, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Financial Times reports: UK PM Theresa May says Brexit deal is close

Financial Times reports: UK PM Theresa May says Brexit deal is close

Her intervention came as Mrs May met key members of her cabinet in Downing Street to brief them on the progress in the Brexit negotiations.

Theresa May must abandon her plans for free trade deals with the rest of the world in order to get a Brexit deal, the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier said yesterday.

Talk of a draft deal having been agreed in Brussels on the Irish backstop was rubbished by Whitehall insiders, who urged caution.

"Trade from Great Britain into Northern Ireland would be in danger of restriction". Why would a Unionist politician want to bring down a Conservative and Unionist government, lose the influence it has on that administration and risk the extra funding for Northern Ireland that the DUP received in exchange for agreeing to support the Tory minority government?

However, Mrs Foster said the EU's proposals would place "an effective one-way turnstile" between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

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Barnier told small business leaders that the talks were "continuing intensively this week, day and night, with the aim. of having a deal within reach, if we follow through to the end of this negotiations, on October 17".

But diplomats told Reuters hopes were high that a breakthrough on the Brexit deal would be made on Monday.

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". 'An very bad lot depends on the talks in the coming days'.

The 27 states remaining in the bloc hope to announce "decisive progress" in divorce talks at an European Union summit next week and then finalise their offer of close future ties with Britain next month.

Barnier earlier in the day briefed European Union commissioners on the negotiations.

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No 10 made clear if the DUP voted down the Budget, Mrs May would not quit.

Earlier today the DUP leader was not prepared to discuss last night's "warning shot" in the Commons, when her MPs didn't back the government in a parliamentary vote. She needs to keep either her own party onside or attract votes from the main opposition Labour Party.

The institute'sreport, highlighting the adverse impact of Brexit on the United Kingdom's services sector, notes the sectorhas driven three-fifths of the rise in UK exports over the past 20 years.

Mr Barnier claimed Brussels's proposal helped manage the negative fall-out from Brexit, which respected the territorial integrity of the United Kingdom, and gave Northern Ireland benefits "no part of a third country enjoys; in particular, continued access to the single market for goods and continued benefits from European Union free trade agreements".

Brexit deal next week 'within reach': Barnier
He also said the European Union wants to carry out Irish border checks after Brexit "in the least intrusive way possible". The de-facto Deputy Prime Minister was pressed on the DUP's support when he appeared on ITV's Peston on Wednesday night.


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