Theresa May’s ‘secret Brexit deal’ with EU

Theresa May’s ‘secret Brexit deal’ with EU

Theresa May’s ‘secret Brexit deal’ with EU

Britain is due to leave the European Union on March 29, with London and Brussels yet to secure an agreement on the Brexit terms and avoid a disruptive "no deal" scenario.

The Sun newspaper reported Tuesday that Raab and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt would use the cabinet meeting to warn that any deal with the European Union that traps Britain within the bloc's orbit would never be approved by MPs.

"He recalled the prior commitments made that the backstop must apply "unless and until" alternative arrangements are agreed".

"This option will be used until then, until we have a new agreement to replace it", said Varadkar.

Theresa May is expected to brief her cabinet today on proposals to avoid a hard border in Ireland through a UK-wide customs arrangement that would eliminate most checks on goods.
To ease Conservative fears that the United Kingdom could effectively stay in the EU customs union indefinitely, preventing trade deals with other countries, Downing Street is pushing for a review mechanism that would allow the United Kingdom to exit the arrangement.

"Anything that pulls the two communities apart in Northern Ireland undermines the Good Friday Agreement and anything that pulls Britain and Ireland apart undermines that relationship", he told Ireland's RTE radio.

Following a phone call with British Prime Minister Theresa May, Mr Varadkar said that Ireland will consider a "review mechanism" to the backstop issue which is causing an impasse in Brexit negotiations.

Karen Bradley, Northern Ireland's Secretary of State, last month provided assurances that the British government will not repudiate the "backstop" commitment in Brexit negotiations, contradicting one of her party's main negotiators.

The DUP is opposed to a Northern Ireland-specific backstop, since, if it came into effect, it would require Northern Ireland to be more closely aligned with the EU's customs and trade rules than the rest of the UK.

The DUP position has caused friction before: almost a year ago, a refusal by the DUP to sign off on a deal on the border caused the temporary collapse of talks at a crucial stage, before negotiators found a way to keep all sides on board.

And sources said that the separate "future framework" on EU-UK trade had made such progress that it could be wrapped up quite quickly once the cabinet had made its decision.

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?'

Donaldson said that he could not understand why the Irish government "seems so intent on this course".

The Downing Street spokesman said the cabinet "needs more time" to consider mechanisms to ensure Britain can not be bound to the EU.

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