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Brexit: Irish rule out time-limited Brexit backstop
05 November 2018, 06:46 | Devin Moran
Brexit Minister Dominic Raab has been visiting Northern Ireland
The key sticking point remains how to avoid customs checks taking place at the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, without putting up new barriers between Northern Ireland and the British mainland.
May's spokesman refused to confirm the report, calling it "speculation", according to Sky News. Is the future of the union stake?
The Conservative MP said that Tony Blair's failure to publish his own government's legal advice from its then attorney-general on the Iraq war meant that the Labour prime minister's reputation "never recovered".
The divisions emerged as Theresa May's top Brexit negotiator, Olly Robbins, prepares to go to Brussels to clinch an in-principle Brexit divorce deal this week, triggering an extraordinary European Union leaders summit later this month in order to cement the deal.
Brexit is undermining Northern Ireland's hard-won peace by creating tensions between Catholic and Protestant communities, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said Saturday, even as hopes rose for a solution to the Irish border problem that has deadlocked negotiations.
Mrs May is said to continue to be pushing for a Canada-style free trade deal with the EU.
Mr Lidington replied by saying: "We're certainly. very close to resolving it".
"Negotiations are still very firmly continuing, and therefore we are 95% of the way there in relation to the Withdrawal Agreement".
"There is no competitor worthy of replacing us", he added.
"We are making good progress on the future relationship, and 95% of the Withdrawal Agreement has been settled".
While European Council President Donald Tusk said in September that an extraordinary summit would be called for November 17-18 to finalize and formalize the EU-UK arrangement if sufficient progress in talks was reached, the EU leaders are now not planning this extraordinary summit.
May is under intense pressure from several members of her cabinet to secure a mechanism by which any backstop agreements can be time limited and able to be terminated by the UK.
"This has been committed to by the United Kingdom in order to have a Withdrawal Agreement. That is why we are increasingly positive on the expectation of reaching a deal", he said at a conference in London today.
Chief Executives from Waterstones, Innocent Drinks and Lastminute.com stated that the United Kingdom faces either a "blindfold or a destructive hard Brexit" in the note.
More than 70 business leaders, including lastminute.com founder Martha Lane Fox and former J. Sainsbury Plc chief Justin King - 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. "Are we being hurtled toward a Hotel California Brexit where we can check out but never leave?"
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