Mooted Brexit deal is an ‘absolute stinker’, warns Boris Johnson

Hannah Rogers
November 5, 2018

They believe it would prevent Britain securing new free trade deals with other countries, and would break the Conservatives' manifesto promise to leave the customs union.

Downing Street claimed the report about the deal is "all speculation".

The Irish border has proved the biggest obstacle to a deal, with both sides vowing not to reinstate a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland for fear of destabilizing a peace accord that ended decades of deadly sectarian violence.

Earlier on Monday, the Irish deputy prime minister, Simon Coveney, tweeted: "The Irish position remains consistent and v clear⁩ that a "time-limited backstop" or a backstop that could be ended by United Kingdom unilaterally would never be agreed to by IRE or EU".

Theresa May has reportedly secured a "secret" Brexit deal that will keep all of the United Kingdom in a customs union and avoid a hard border with Northern Ireland.

Britain is confident that it will "imminently" reach a deal with the European Union on its post-Brexit financial services trade with the bloc, Britain's financial services minister John Glen said today.

He said there was a "rapidly ticking clock" but that minds were now being focused with a view to concluding a deal and he welcomed that.

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Mrs May is also on course to a situation where she could negotiate a Canada-style deal in the future, according to the Sunday Times.

Mr Brokenshire, appearing on television, was asked if a deal was close, replying: "Well, we want to get that deal, we're obviously working hard to see that that happens". The prime minister has been clear that we are making good progress on the future relationship and 95% of the withdrawal agreement is now settled.

A spokesman for Ireland's Tanaiste Simon Coveney said: "The UK has given written commitments last December and March that the Withdrawal Agreement will include a legal guarantee of no return to a hard border in Ireland in any circumstance".

"This is the backstop", he added, saying the United Kingdom had agreed that it would apply "unless and until" a close future relationship eliminated any need for Border infrastructure and checks.

The Sunday Times reports that the prime minister is close to a political deal on the United Kingdom and EU's so-called future economic partnership, which the newspaper says will "allow Britain to keep open the prospect of a free trade deal resembling that enjoyed by Canada". "Are we being hurtled toward a Hotel California Brexit where we can check out but never leave?"

The letter argues that both the government's current plans for Brexit, and a no-deal Brexit, would leave the country worse off than they were being in the European Union if the country left in March.

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.

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