Foster warns of 'catastrophic' impact of Brexit barrier

Theresa May   Getty

There have been suggestions that the political declaration could be as short as six pages in order to push a Brexit deal through and leave disagreements over the future of trade for to be settled during the two-year transition period.

DUP leader Arlene Foster insisted on Tuesday that her party would not accept customs or regulatory checks on goods travelling in either direction between Northern Ireland and Great Britain after meeting EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier in Brussels, and again following talks on Wednesday with European Parliament Brexit co-ordinator Guy Verhofstadt.

The former Brexit minister, now a senior figure in the fight against the Prime Minister with the hardline European Research Group, previously said 80 Conservatives would be prepared to oppose the Prime Minister if her deal with the EU kept Britain too closely aligned to it.

Davis added that it was "in the party's interest and the national interest" to "reset" the UK's negotiating strategy "immediately".

She told reporters: "There can not be barriers to trade in the United Kingdom internal market".

"If we stay on our current trajectory we will go into the next election with the government having delivered none of the benefits of Brexit, with the country reduced to being a rule-taker from Brussels and having failed to deliver a number of manifesto promises and on the Lancaster House speech", he writes.

The Prime Minister has come under growing pressure from Brexit-backing Tories to drop the plan agreed by the Cabinet at her country residence in July and instead seek a Canada-style free trade deal.

Top EU officials sounded upbeat last week about chances for a withdrawal deal as soon as next week's summit.

Hopes of a breakthrough in Brexit talks continued to rise as Ireland said the chances of a deal were good.

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.

But on actually getting a deal, he said: "We've always been clear we would aim for the October council but there would be leeway, that it might slip into November".

The US-based organisation said a "no-deal" departure from the EU could lead to fragmentation in European money markets, meaning finance cannot flow around the system so efficiently.

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt suggested Mrs May might have to amend her Chequers plan to get a final deal, saying that "we don't know where this is going to end up".

It highlights how Theresa May's "precious Union" has little meaningful support among the British prime minister's own supporters or those in other parties who regard themselves as unionist.

"This would not simply answer concerns about keeping the Northern Ireland border open, it would also ensure the channel ports continue to provide as frictionless trade as possible".

In a sign of progress, diplomats in Brussels told Reuters the European Union no longer expected a new proposal from Britain for the Ireland-UK border fix after Brexit as negotiators from both sides were seeking to agree on it in direct talks.

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