Brexit: Irish rule out time-limited Brexit backstop

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

U.K. Cabinet ministers expect to be locked in a room to study the latest options for a Brexit deal in strict secrecy on Tuesday as Theresa May redoubles efforts to get a deal this month, according to people familiar with the matter.

"Don't be under any illusion, there remains a significant amount of work to do", the spokesman told reporters.

"For now, we are still negotiating and I am not, as I am speaking to you this morning, able to tell you that we are close to reaching an agreement", he said.

The Irish border has proved the biggest obstacle to a deal, with both sides vowing not to reinstate a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland for fear of destabilzing the peace accord that ended decades of deadly sectarian violence.

He has been charged with drawing up new proposals for a "review mechanism" in the Brexit withdrawal agreement to allow Britain to pull out of any backstop arrangement.

Following the meeting, the PM's official spokesman said: "The Prime Minister said she was confident of reaching a deal".

Mrs May is pursuing a possible "review mechanism" to be included in any withdrawal agreement, which would enable the United Kingdom to bring its participation in a customs union with the EU to a close.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has secured a deal with the European Union on Brexit that will avoid the need for a hard border in Ireland, it has been reported.

"We are making good progress on the future relationship, and 95% of the withdrawal agreement has been settled".

May spokesperson said it was likely that a further cabinet meeting would be held before a deal was agreed, hinting that this could happen later in the week.

However, if these Brexiteers are not convinced that the customs union is only a temporary measure they would nearly certainly rebel.

May raised the possibility of a review mechanism for the backstop in a phone call on Monday with Varadkar that she had sought to update him on the current state of the talks, the Irish government said in a statement.

Sterling fell after a senior member of the Northern Irish party which props up May's government said the United Kingdom looked likely to leave the European Union without a deal.

Mr Gauke told a Channel 4 Brexit debate show: 'If we leave on no-deal terms there's no good shying away, it will be very bad for us economically.

Mr Varadkar said the new housing development is an example of the Government's attempt to sort out the housing shortage.

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

May and Chief Whip Julian Smith are also understood to have cautioned that getting a deal done by the end of November was crucial to avoiding a last-minute rush in getting the proposals voted on in Parliament.

However, once they return to Northern Ireland pet owners will have to go through a similar process as the certificates do not allow pet owners to move freely between north and south of the border.

They will need to work out the details of the backstop review mechanism by the end of the week if a deal is to be concluded this month. "Given that neither was on the ballot in 2016, we believe the ultimate choice should be handed back to the public with a People's Vote".

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