Significant outstanding issues related to Irish backstop -UK PM May's spokesman

Aaron Brown
November 6, 2018

The British government's chief legal adviser has been quietly added as a 12th member of the Cabinet sub-committee created to oversee London's Brexit negotiations with Brussels after ministers insisted they would not sign off on a deal without his advice.

With a Brexit deal nearing completion with Brussels, the PM is trying to secure the agreement of her cabinet to press on with finalising the terms for Brexit.

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

Since a deal that included keeping all the United Kingdom inside European Union customs rules was rejected by Prime Minister Theresa May on October 14, negotiators have worked to narrow differences.

German automotive supplier Schaeffler SHA_p.DE said it will shut two factories in Britain as part of changes prompted partly by Brexit.

Northern Ireland would need to avoid diverging so far, in order to ensure that its land border was close to frictionless.

However, Leo Varadkar, the Irish prime minister, said that Dublin was open to the idea of a "review mechanism" for the backstop that had been put forward by Mrs May in a telephone call.

Expectations are rising that United Kingdom negotiator Olly Robbins will be pressing hard to finalise a deal in Brussels this week, to set the scene for a special Brexit summit later in the month to secure the approval of the leaders of the 27 remaining member states.

DUP MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said Dublin's stance was making a no-deal Brexit likely.

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Reuters reported on Friday that the European Union has suggested a backstop post-Brexit customs arrangement that would cover all of the UK.

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

"We hope a deal can be done but we're not there yet".

Mr Matheson, speaking in Treasury questions, said: 'The Government's own figures demonstrate between a 2% and 8% hit on the broader economy on Brexit, so isn't it the case that there is no form of Brexit that won't have a massive impact on the public finances and therefore on public services?' "Can't understand why Irish Government seems so intent on this course".

He replied: "Well, we want to get that deal, we're obviously working hard to see that that happens".

She is expected to warn her most stridently anti-EU MPs that they will be held responsible for the consequences of a no-deal Brexit if they do not vote for her deal.

The meeting will also be updated by Dominic Raab, the Brexit Secretary, on the latest preparations for a no-deal withdrawal from the bloc.

Mrs May is said to continue to be pushing for a Canada-style free trade deal with the EU.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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