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May: Brexit deal '95% done'

23 October 2018

"Which is, how we guarantee that in the unlikely event our future relationship is not in place by the end of the implementation period, there is no return to a hard border in Northern Ireland and Ireland".

But as she spoke to MPs the Prime Minister knew that some of her harshest critics were not opposite her but on her own side.

British PM Theresa May appeared to open the way to extend the post-Brexit transition period until December 2021, as European Union leaders offered an olive branch to her in a bid to break the impasse during the European Union summit on Wednesday (17 October).

Theresa May says only 5% of the withdrawal agreement is left to negotiate with Brussels.

Negotiations on Britain's departure from the European Union are stalled on several issues, but primarily an Irish "backstop" both sides agree is needed to avoid a hard border between the United Kingdom province of Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, an EU state.

"The shape of the deal across the vast majority of the withdrawal agreement is now clear", she said.

The EU is now considering May's "all-UK backstop" offer.

Last week, the European Union dropped plans for a November summit on Brexit because of a lack of progress in negotiations and began preparations for a disastrous "no-deal" scenario when the clock runs out in March 2019.

"I would say this is the biggest threat I have seen to science in the United Kingdom in all my life which is now almost 50 years of research", he said.

However, during her address Mrs May said: "We would not accept a position in which the United Kingdom, having negotiated in good faith an agreement which prevents a hard Border in Northern Ireland, nonetheless finds itself locked into an alternative, inferior arrangement against our will".

She said if Karen Bradley is suggesting that a Brexit outcome opposed by one community is unacceptable, "then the same logic should apply for those of all political persuasions and none who voted to remain". "The Brexit mood music remains negative for the Pound, which could fall more sharply if a leadership challenge materialises in the coming months", says Hardman in a briefing to clients.

"Many people say that this is just to add pressure on her not to give in to Brussels in terms of that transition period".

On Sunday, Brexit Minister Dominic Raab pushed the suggestion forward, saying London could accept such a move if the European Union dropped its proposal for the backstop, which Mrs May says would tear Northern Ireland from mainland Britain.

Weekend newspapers reported Tory backbenchers saying Mrs May was entering the "killing zone" and that she should "bring her own noose" to a meeting with Conservative MPs to discuss her Brexit plans.

Both sides agree there must be no hard border that could disrupt businesses and residents on both sides and undermine Northern Ireland's hard-won peace process.

Theresa May met her cabinet this morning for a lengthy discussion about the state of Brexit negotiations, along with an update on progress of no-deal planning.

May: Brexit deal '95% done'