Financial Times reports: UK PM Theresa May says Brexit deal is close

Financial Times reports: UK PM Theresa May says Brexit deal is close

Financial Times reports: UK PM Theresa May says Brexit deal is close

Besides the Irish border issue, the key areas still to be negotiated are the geographical indications of products and the governance of the implementation of the deal.

May gathered selected members of her cabinet late Thursday to update them on the Brexit talks, and the Financial Times reported that she told them that a deal was drawing closer.

Talk of a draft deal having been agreed in Brussels on the Irish backstop was rubbished by Whitehall insiders, who urged caution.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May attends a roundtable meeting with business leaders whose companies are inaugural signatories of the Race at Work Charter at the Southbank Centre in London, Britain, October 11, 2018.

It comes as Brexit negotiations enter what is being referred to as a "tunnel phase", with no publication of the British or European Union position on the backstop to be published until it is agreed.

Blasting the proposed deal, she said: "Trade from Great Britain into Northern Ireland would be in danger of restriction".

The DUP are now refusing to back any proposal which includes significant regulatory checks between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom, fearing this would undermine the union.

His constituency contains the port of Larne, identified by European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier as a place where checks on animals and animal products from Great Britain into Northern Ireland could be intensified in order to prevent a hard border with the Republic of Ireland. The sides will continue negotiations through the weekend with hopes for a breakthrough as early as Monday.

'I think that next week we can be very cautiously optimistic that we will make progress, ' Rutte said at a joint press conference with German chancellor Angela Merkel.

Theresa May relies on DUP support in key votes because she does not have a majority in the House of Commons.

Suspicions remain among hardline Tory Brexiteers that Mrs May is heading for a compromise which could tie the United Kingdom to European Union customs arrangements indefinitely - something which Boris Johnson has warned would reduce the United Kingdom to a "permanent European Union colony".

But he stuck to the EU's rejection of London's plan for a "regulatory framework for goods", saying it would give Britain an unfair competitive advantage by allowing access to parts of the bloc's single market without ensuring the country honours all of its conditions.

The Northern Ireland Retail Consortium (NIRC), which was also at the meeting, said the deal on the table was uniquely beneficial to Northern Ireland's economy, which would suffer disproportionately from Brexit.

If the DUP votes against the budget, which will be presented on October 29, this could trigger a confidence motion and a general election if the government loses.

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