Markets

Raab demand on Brexit backstop

Raab demand on Brexit backstop

Under the agreed deal, the European Union accepts that regulatory checks on goods can be carried out in factories and shops rather than at the border, the Sunday Times said.

According to the Sunday Times, the private concessions will prevent the need for Northern Ireland to be treated differently to the rest of the United Kingdom - and avoid an Irish backstop.

Writing in the Sunday Times, David Davis said: "We need cards laid on the table so that we can form a judgment".

However, in order for the EU to accept this compromise, Mrs May must convince her colleagues and the DUP to agree that Northern Ireland can only opt out of the customs union when another mechanism of ensuring a soft Border is agreed.

Mr Brokenshire, appearing on television, was asked if a deal was close, replying: "Well, we want to get that deal, we're obviously working hard to see that that happens".

The Prime Minister is said to be preparing to sell the plan to Brexiteers in the Cabinet by insisting the customs arrangement will not be permanent, and that the alternative is a potentially disastrous "no-deal" exit from the bloc in March.

May is also understood to be close to a political deal on a future economic partnership (FEP) with Brussels that would give Britain the green light to pursue a free trade deal similar to Canada.




"We are making good progress on the future relationship, and 95% of the Withdrawal Agreement has been settled".

"Negotiations are still very firmly continuing, and therefore we are 95% of the way there in relation to the Withdrawal Agreement".

Mr Coveney's spokesperson said the European Union had been united through the Brexit process and the UK had given written commitments that the Withdrawal Agreement would give a legal guarantee of no return to a hard Border in Ireland in any circumstance.

Senior sources told the paper that Prime Minister Theresa May has secured concessions from Brussels, with the EU agreeing to write an "all-UK" customs union into the divorce deal.

"While we too hope the Northern Ireland backstop will never be required to be used, it will be required to be written down in legal text".

But the government's Brexit department stated that they are confident there will be a deal that works for businesses - and reiterated their stance against a People's Vote. "I certainly hope we are".

More than 70 business leaders - from lastminute.com founder Martha Lane Fox and former J. Sainsbury PLC chief Justin King to Cobra Beer founder Karan Bilimoria and ex-chairman of Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC Simon Robertson - signed a letter arguing that both the government's current plans for Brexit, and a no-deal Brexit, would be bad for companies and jobs.