May's 'secret' Brexit deal avoids Irish backstop

May's 'secret' Brexit deal avoids Irish backstop

"In March the United Kingdom agreed this backstop will apply "unless and until" a close future relationship eliminates any need for border infrastructure or related checks and controls".

Raab has claimed he could agree a Brexit deal by 21 November, a deadline Downing Street has distanced itself from.

Theresa May appears to have accepted that an open border with the Irish Republic is absolutely vital - despite its regular exploitation by organised criminals and illegal migrants - but can not leave Northern Ireland in the Customs Union by itself, as this would lead to customs checks between Britain's Home Nations.

It was claimed that the European Union had last week agreed a major concession to unlock a Brexit deal, by accepting that checks on goods could take place in factories and shops rather than at the border.

"The Democratic Unionist Party is rightly anxious about the future of the Union and many Conservatives are too".

Ahead of Mrs May's cabinet meeting, sources here said the situation was at its "most sensitive yet" and she will be "dancing on the head of a pin" to secure agreement on the deal in her government.

The Brexit figurehead was responding to reports that Prime Minister Theresa May is close to striking a deal with Brussels which would allow the creation of a whole-UK customs union, avoiding the need for the Northern Ireland border "backstop" that has been at the heart of the impasse in negotiations.

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Raab has written to Prime Minister Theresa May to urge her to back his plan, the FT said, quoting a person briefed on the matter.

"The prime minister has been clear that we are making good progress on the future relationship, and 95 percent of the withdrawal agreement is now settled and negotiations are ongoing". "Are we being hurtled toward a Hotel California Brexit where we can check out but never leave?"

The hardline stance adopted by the British "stunned" Irish officials, and was viewed as a setback to clinching a Brexit deal this week.

'I am assuming the Government will stick to its manifesto commitment to leaving the customs union when we leave the EU'.

The letter argues that both the government's current plans for Brexit, and a no-deal Brexit, would leave the country worse off than they were being in the European Union if the country left in March.

More than 70 business leaders - from founder Martha Lane Fox and former J. Sainsbury PLC chief Justin King to Cobra Beer founder Karan Bilimoria and ex-chairman of Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC Simon Robertson - signed a letter arguing that both the government's current plans for Brexit, and a no-deal Brexit, would be bad for companies and jobs.

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