Published: Fri, October 12, 2018
Money | By Arnold Ball

United Kingdom and Ireland suggest Brexit talks will go to November

United Kingdom and Ireland suggest Brexit talks will go to November

But London has yet to present in writing a new proposal for the biggest hurdle in talks now - how to avoid extensive, post-Brexit checks along the 500 km (320 miles) of border between EU member state Ireland and Britain's Northern Ireland province that will become the only EU-UK land frontier.

In Northern Ireland, 86 per cent of Leave voters believe Scottish independence would be acceptable if meant securing the UK's withdrawal from the EU.

After Tuesday's weekly cabinet meeting, Downing Street made clear Mrs May would not agree to any withdrawal deal, including the £39bn so-called divorce bill to be paid to the European Union, without a "precise" declaration of the two sides' future trade and security partnership.

The small Northern Irish party which props up May's government again drew what it described as the "only one red line" in its talks in Brussels on Tuesday, ruling out any checks on trade with the British mainland after Brexit.

One of the major sticking points to a deal has been how to avoid new checks on the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, which will also become the future frontier between the United Kingdom and the European Union.

The Times said a group of between 30 to 40 Labour lawmakers could defy their leader, Jeremy Corbyn, and vote for a deal that May hopes to bring back by the end of the year.

Professor Ailsa Henderson from the University of Edinburgh said the data suggested that, in the pursuit of Brexit, Leave supporters across the United Kingdom would be relaxed about a fundamental transformation of the union.

The UK Government is also due to publish its own revised proposals for the Irish border, but Downing Street has said only that these will appear "in due course".

"So it is in both the Party's interest, and crucially the national interest, that we reset our negotiating strategy immediately and deliver a Brexit that meets the demands of the referendum and the interests of the British people".

Windsor welcomes Princess Eugenie for royal wedding redux
Trevor Engelson has married long-time girlfriend Tracey Kurland in a low-key L.A. ceremony, which took place at the weekend. Jack proposed to Eugenie, whose mum is Sarah, the Duchess of York, with a padparadscha sapphire ring surrounded by diamonds.

Mr Barnier briefed top EU officials behind closed doors at a regular meeting of the College of Commissionerswhich also heard European Commission secretary-general Martin Selmayr warn of the need to be prepared for "all outcomes" from Brexit.

Avramopoulos also said the bloc's no-deal contingency plans on security were driven by "goodwill", stressing the bloc would want to continue cooperating with Britain closely, including on sharing intelligence.

Despite this Theresa May will face the Commons today amid intense Tory pressure to drop her Brexit plans as officials in Brussels gather to discuss their latest move in the talks.

Then, at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham last week, rows over her strategy loomed large, with critics including former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson urging her to "chuck" it in favour of a free trade deal like the European Union has with Canada.

"The Prime Minister understands our position and I expect her to respect that position".

Repeating his call for Mrs May to ditch the plan agreed at her country residence in July, he said: "In the referendum both sides said Leave meant leaving the customs union and single market".

The negotiations are reaching a critical stage ahead of next week's European Council summit.

An announcement on what a possible deal could look like on the Irish border issue could be made as soon as Monday.

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