DUP: ‘Looks like we’re heading for no-deal Brexit’

Olive Hawkins
November 6, 2018

Downing Street's official summary of the phone call made no mention of the "review mechanism", which some Brexiteers saw as a sign that Mrs May has already made up her mind to agree to Mr Varadkar's proposal and could present it as a fait accompli to her cabinet.

The fraught issue of preventing a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland is still proving to be one of the main sticking points holding back negotiations.

Ministerial sources told HuffPost UK the cabinet could approve the long-awaited Withdrawal Agreement from the European Union as early as Thursday or Friday this week, followed by a special Brussels summit later this month and a Commons vote in December.

"She said that while the United Kingdom should aim to secure a withdrawal agreement as soon as possible, this should not be done at any cost".

Theresa May called the Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar this morning to discuss how the backstop solution to the Northern Ireland border would work.

With a Brexit deal nearing completion with Brussels, the PM is trying to secure the agreement of her cabinet to press on with finalising the terms for Brexit.

At the regular weekly meeting in 10 Downing Streets, senior ministers discussed proposals for a "review mechanism" to ensure that the United Kingdom is not stuck indefinitely in a possible backstop arrangement created to avoid a hard border in Ireland.

Last week the Irish prime minister said Brexit was fraying relations between Ireland and Britain.

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"We are coming to a stage where the markets believe that a deal may be on the cards and sentiment is not that negative towards sterling as it was a few weeks ago", said Manuel Oliveri, an FX strategist at Credit Agricole in London.

A senior DUP figure has warned that the United Kingdom is hurtling towards a no deal Brexit, pinning the blame on the Irish Republic for its hard-line stance on the backstop.

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?'

But he made clear that he would not accept an arrangement which gave the United Kingdom unilateral powers to ditch the customs union without the agreement of Brussels. In addition, the United Kingdom won't have to pay a penny more to European Union, which means big increase for Dublin.

In response, Sir Jeffrey said Dublin's stance was making a no-deal Brexit likely.

Mrs May is understood to view the mechanism as a means of allaying the concerns of Conservative and DUP MPs who want guarantees that any future membership of a customs union is temporary.

Looks like we're heading for no deal.

"Choices have to be made on the British side to finalise this deal".

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