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Main » UK PM Theresa May says Brexit deal is close - Financial Times reports

UK PM Theresa May says Brexit deal is close - Financial Times reports

12 October 2018

This, however, would raise the prospect of increased regulation checks between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

The EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier on Wednesday said Britain must accept possible checks on goods moving between its mainland and its province of Northern Ireland, saying Brexit would trigger the need for customs, value-added tax and compliance checks with EU standards.

In addition, Northern Ireland would remain under large parts of single market regulations, requiring enhanced checks on products arriving from Britain, particularly agricultural goods.

Bear in mind that yesterday her party was threatening to go further and vote against the budget later this month, if its concerns about the imminent Brexit deal are not met.

Theresa May is facing a fresh challenge to her Brexit plans from her Democratic Unionist Party allies, who are threatening to vote against the Budget if she breaks their red lines.

DUP leader Arlene Foster has warned Theresa May she can not "in good conscience" recommend a Brexit deal which keeps Northern Ireland in the customs union.

Cabinet ministers briefed on the Brexit talks said the issue of the Irish backstop was close to being settled, the FT said.

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The de-facto Deputy Prime Minister was pressed on the DUP's support when he appeared on ITV's Peston on Wednesday night.

The OBR said if there was no agreement on standards everything would have to be resubmitted for approval: "In a scenario where the United Kingdom and European Union are unable to agree to the continued mutual recognition ('grandfathering') of existing product standards and professional qualifications, all existing goods may need to be re-approved before sale and services trade would be severely restricted by the loss of market access".

While talks with Brussels have intensified since May emerged from her infighting Conservative party conference last week, there has been no breakthrough.

Commenting on the Irish backstop, Barnier said the EU's plan to keep Northern Ireland in the Single Market and customs union would help keep the border invisible - a goal of both sets of negotiators.

The prime minister summoned members of the Brexit "war cabinet" on Thursday to build support for the terms of the withdrawal agreement before seeking the backing of her full cabinet and the rest of her party.

For customs and VAT, Barnier said, "we propose using the existing customs procedures to avoid doing checks at the transit points".

UK PM Theresa May says Brexit deal is close - Financial Times reports