Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Theresa May says United Kingdom will not do Brexit deal at any cost

Liam Fox: UK must be able to withdraw from Irish backstop UK Cabinet Shown Brexit Deal Text as Talks Near Endgame
Steven Clarke | 11 November, 2018, 04:38

Nevertheless, according to her spokesman, May opened the meeting by saying that while the United Kingdom should aim to conclude the withdrawal agreement as soon as possible, this would "not be done at any cost". "We will need to be satisfied in the negotiations that we have achieved the best deal that we possibly can for the United Kingdom", he said.

"Repeatedly people seem to make the same mistake over and over again, assuming that if the British Cabinet agrees something, well, then that's it then, everything is agreed".

A UK-wide customs deal would maintain quota-free and tariff-free access to European markets for the British fishing industry and in return the EU wants to keep continued access to United Kingdom waters for its trawlers, the newspaper said.

"So while of course we want progress to be made and we want it to be made as quickly as possible because time is moving on, I would urge caution that people don't get carried away on the back of rumour in the coming days".

The issue of the Irish border has proven to be the main stumbling block in the negotiations, with the United Kingdom and European Union divided over the issue of a backstop, an arrangement created to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland.

Some cabinet ministers want to see the full legal advice given to May setting out how any customs arrangement could be ended to avoid it becoming a permanent settlement.

The British government raced Tuesday to build on a chance of a Brexit compromise on Northern Ireland, but Prime Minister Theresa May promised her fractious party she would not strike a deal with the European Union "at any cost".

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The European Union's fallback proposal aimed at avoiding a hard border between Ireland and the United Kingdom would effectively keep Northern Ireland aligned with Brussels's customs union and single market.

Tory Remainer Dominic Grieve said a border in the Irish Sea would be "unacceptable".

Fox and Davis are among a number of MPs to have put pressure on May to publish the legal advice she has received from attorney general Geoffrey Cox on the strategy for Northern Ireland.

British prime minister Theresa May has invited ministers to review the text of a withdrawal agreement.

Tusk's comments came on the same day Austrian newspapers reported that Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab and European Union chief negotiator Michel Barnier could meet over the next few days to seal an agreement.

Michel Barnier cited the anti-EU British MEP Nigel Farage as a cautionary example at a conference of the centre-right European People's Party.

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