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

Ann Santiago
October 12, 2018

Downing Street said today that Theresa May would never agree to a permanent customs union with the EU, as the Prime Minister attempts to set cabinet ministers at ease over the Brexit negotiations.

European Union proposals would keep Northern Ireland in its customs union and force the province to abide by European single market rules.

The UK will lose free trade agreements with more than 70 non-EU countries around the world if it leaves without a deal in March next year, the Government has warned.

Media captionHelen Grant on the DUP: "I think they are bluffing".

British Prime Minister Theresa May briefed her inner cabinet on Thursday evening that a historic Brexit deal was close, the Financial Times reported Thursday.

Michael Russell will be there representing the Scottish Government and is expected to once again sound the alarm about the damage to Scotland's economy a hard or no-deal Brexit would do.

"He told the BBC's Political Thinking podcast: "'Their behaviour was pretty intolerable, but not almost as intolerable as the way the present Prime Minister is being treated".

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte said on Wednesday evening he is "cautiously optimistic" that progress will be made next week on the negotiations for Britain to leave the EU.

Mrs May says she is working for a deal and has urged MPs to "put the national interest first" and support it.


Dara Calleary, deputy leader of Fianna Fáil, said he was concerned by the DUP's response, ...

May is trying to clinches a deal but there is uncertainty on whether she could sell it at home, where she will need approval from the British parliament.

Theresa May has said any arrangement which effectively draws a "border in the Irish Sea" between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom is completely unacceptable.

They have already sent warning shots by abstaining from an unimportant vote in the House of Commons earlier this week.

Following three days of talks with key figures in Brussels, Mrs Foster, whose party's 10 MPs prop up the government at Westminster, said that the DUP could not accept the European Union proposals as they now stood.

"I would advise them to hold firm against Brexit because either of these choices are unpalatable", he said at an event in London hosted by Reuters.

He said: "She has declared herself to be a unionist, she has repeated that time and time again, she knows the consequences if she walks away from that promise, not just for Northern Ireland because of course she will open a Pandora's box in Scotland as well".

The Telegraph mentioned eurosceptic global development secretary Penny Mordaunt and pension secretary Esther McVey.

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