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MPs to reject British PM's Brexit deal: ex-minister

MPs to reject British PM's Brexit deal: ex-minister

He added: "The key point is the (European) Commission has to be prepared to come to that party and say, "yes, we are prepared to show some flexibility on this", so that there can be a UK-wide free trade deal".

The former Tory leader told Newsnight that a meeting with critics would carry the party with them, after a senior fellow Brexiteer warned that Theresa May's Chequers deal could split the party.

It feels like we've been hearing about Brexit for such a long time now, but the deadline for the deal to be sorted is fast approaching. But it broke up without a decision on a plan of action.

Hopes are fading that Britain and the EU can strike a deal at an EU summit in October as originally planned, but there are growing expectations that the EU is planning another meeting for November.

At the moment - because of a lack of support for the proposed deal - it seems to be mostly up in the air, so we will all have to wait and see.

"The treaty is clear, we have two years to reach an agreement before they leave... in March 2019".

May's spokesman said her proposal, known as "Chequers" for the country house where it was hashed out in July, is the only serious, credible and negotiable plan available.

"I think it's possible", Barnier said at a panel dubbed 'Bridging the Divide'.




He told Newsnight: "If you listen carefully to what Michel Barnier said there was no movement, there was an expression of confidence that we can get an agreement on the withdrawal agreement where we are going to give them £39 billion".

If a deal has been reached by then, it will need to be approved by MPs.

Barnier refused to comment on the divisions in the governing British Conservative Party over Brexit.

Lawmakers from the European Research Group (ERG), a grouping in May's Conservative Party which wants a sharper break with the EU, met on Tuesday night and openly discussed May's future.

On that occasion, the pound climbed close to 1% when Bloomberg reported that German officials were prepared to "accept a less detailed agreement on the UK's future economic and trade ties with the European Union in a bid to get a Brexit deal done". One of those present said opposition to her leadership has hardened over the summer.

The ERG is unveiling its own alternative plan for tackling the Irish border issue on Wednesday.

The likes of former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, Environment Secretary Michael Gove and Home Secretary Sajid Javid are expected to be among the runners and riders whenever the PM leaves Downing Street. He urged Conservative lawmakers to get behind May, who he said was "doing a brilliant job" negotiating Brexit. "We aren't expecting the European Union to change Barnier's guidelines, but we hope the leaders will tell them to interpret them in such a way as to make a deal possible", said one senior British official".