An agreement on the Irish border to break the Brexit bag is not close, said the EU negotiator.

Michel Barnier spoke as Theresa May informed the Cabinet about her plans to make a breakthrough in time to secure a special Brexit summit to seal an agreement in November.

Ms May is pursuing a possible "review mechanism" that can be included in any resignation agreement that would enable the UK to complete its participation in a customs union with the EU.

Weekend reports indicated that a resignation business is imminent as the technical talks in Brussels continue.

Chief EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier spoke to Belgian RTBF broadcaster (RTBF)

Mr Barnier told the Belgian television channel RTBF: "We are still negotiating and I can not tell you this morning that we are on the verge of reaching an agreement, as there is still a real divergence on the path to peacekeeping in Ireland that there are no borders in Ireland, while protecting the integrity of the internal market. "

Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said on Monday to the Prime Minister that he was ready to consider a review mechanism as part of a "backstop" agreement to keep the border with Northern Ireland open after Brexit.

However, he made it clear that he would not accept an agreement that unilaterally authorized the United Kingdom to abandon the customs union without the consent of Brussels.

Ms May sees the mechanism as a means to dispel the concerns of Conservative and DUP members who want to guarantee future membership of a customs union.

DUP MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said that Dublin's attitude is likely to make a no-deal Brexit.

"Looks like we're not going to make a deal," he tweeted.

"Such a result will have serious consequences for the economy of the Republic of Ireland. In addition, the UK does not have to pay the EU a penny, which means a big increase for Dublin. I can not understand why the Irish Government seems so interested in this course. "

The hard talk from Ireland came when Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell confirmed that Labor would not support a temporary customs union with the EU.

Asked if Labor would vote against a customs union option if it were not permanent, McDonnell told BBC2 Newsnight, "Yes, I think so, because … we'll see what it brings and we'll get along with people Be honest, if it does not protect the jobs and the economy, we can not support it.

"All the messages we receive over this period are that our European partners absolutely want what we want – a business that protects their jobs and their economy in the same way we want it.

"So we believe that there is a deal if they realize that the deal is unacceptable to Parliament, and I think that will give us a glimpse of the possibilities of real negotiations."


Justice Minister David Gauke warned that a no-deal Brexit for Britain would be bad.

Mr Gauke commented on a Channel 4 debate show: "If we leave no-deal conditions, there is no good thing that scares away, it will be very bad for us financially.

"If we can do a good business, we have to eliminate all friction. The Checkers type deal, as I say, if we do not have friction with trading, I think that this will not be economically the case, one way or the other. "

Justice Minister David Gauke in the Brexit debate in Channel 4 (Aaron Chown / PA)

Amid reports that Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab and other Cabinet Brexiters urged Britain to stop with a few months' notice, there was better news for the PM as the EU agreed to offer London a compromise on Irish Question.

Brussels could propose an "independent mechanism" that, according to the Times, Britain could end a temporary tariff agreement with the EU.

The backstop problem has become the biggest obstacle to reaching an agreement on Britain's exit from the European Union on 29 March 2019.

In a survey of 20,000 people for Channel 4, Remain would win another in / out referendum by 54% -46%.

Using a "multi-level" modeling methodology, the broadcaster said that 105 community districts that voted for "leave" in 2016 are now carried by the remaining party.



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