Published: Wed, November 07, 2018
Science | By Cecil Little

Theresa May says will not agree Brexit deal 'at any cost'

Theresa May says will not agree Brexit deal 'at any cost'

It comes as the Irish Prime Minister reminds the United Kingdom it's signed up to a legally operative backstop to avoid a hard border.

Lisa Chambers, the Brexit spokesperson of Irish party Fianna Fáil, which similarly supports Varadkar's government in parliament, said that his willingness to consider a review process was a "significant and potentially hazardous change in direction".

London regards it as a "big step" that the European Union now appears ready to contemplate a means for bringing the backstop to an end.

London is pushing for a single UK-wide customs arrangement, with additional measures for Northern Ireland to cover regulatory controls, as the single entity that will avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland.

The DUP is opposed to a Northern Ireland-specific backstop, since, if it came into effect, it would require Northern Ireland to be more closely aligned with the EU's customs and trade rules than the rest of the UK.

May will try to garner support from her cabinet on Tuesday (6 November) when it comes to the so-called backstop, which United Kingdom government sources say is now the only outstanding unresolved issue.

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Christine Middlemiss, UK Chief Veterinary Officer, told the Daily Telegraph that owners should go to the vets as soon as possible to get their pet's documents in order if they want to travel to the European Union after Brexit day at the end of next March.

The crunch meeting comes amid mounting pressure to finalise the withdrawal agreement in order to announce the leaving terms at a special summit in November.

At a weekly cabinet meeting, May told ministers she expected an agreement and wanted it as soon as possible, but it would "not be done at any cost", according to her spokesman.

May spokesman James Slack said she told the ministers 'while the United Kingdom should aim to secure a withdrawal agreement as soon as possible, this should not be done at any cost'.

Whitehall sources stressed that there was "much work to do" on what was a "fabulously complicated" solution to the problem of keeping open the border of Northern Ireland with Ireland post-Brexit.

May later reiterated to Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz that she believed a withdrawal accord was 95% complete, and was "confident" of a deal on the Northern Irish backstop.

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Donaldson said that he could not understand why the Irish government "seems so intent on this course".

Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell has signalled his party will vote against the United Kingdom being in an effective customs union with the EU for a temporary period after Brexit.

"Such an outcome will have serious consequences for the economy of the Republic".

He told the BBC: "I can't see it because I think it would be the worst of all worlds".

All pet owners are now being told to ensure they have the correct health protection documents in place for the possibility of a no deal Brexit.

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