Brexit deal getting closer, European Commission chief says

PA Archive  PA Images               DUP leader Arlene Foster Chief Whip Sir Jeffrey Donaldson then Chief Whip Gavin Williamson and Theresa May

Juncker told the Austrian papers that a political declaration on future relations between Britain and its former European partners was needed accompanying the Brexit deal.

"Somehow everything seems to be rather deadlocked at the moment, and as a result the downside risks for sterling remain in place", Commerzbank analysts said in a note to clients.

"The Soviet Union was about prisons and gulags, borders and walls, violence against citizens and neighbours", he said.

But there are still wrinkles to iron out, an European Union official said after Friday's meeting, and it will hinge on May's ability to keep her Northern Irish allies onside.

But he held out the offer a "Canada+++" trade deal, which has been welcomed by many Brexit-supporting politicians as the basis to strike a final deal later this month.

During a post-meeting press conference, SDLP and Sinn Fein leaders Colum Eastwood and Michelle O'Neill told the BBC giving the suspended Stormont Assembly in Belfast any say over the backstop would be unacceptable.

Varadkar added that Brexit will feature centrally in next week's budget for 2019 and that the government's new plans to run a balanced budget for next year would give it the capacity to borrow "if we do run into problems with Brexit". "Even though we haven't changed our minds that the consequences of Brexit will be negative, for both sides", Tusk said. I do not interfere in inner-cabinet debates in the UK.

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They signaled that a compromise might be in the making on, the most contentious issue, the future of the Irish border.

Referring to British and Dutch news reports about a cyber attack against the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in the Hague, Tusk pointed the finger of blame at Kremlin intelligence services.

The chances of a Brexit agreement have grown in recent days, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has said, after weeks of growing fears that Britain could crash out of the EU without a deal.

Under the new plans, which have not yet been formally tabled, the whole of the United Kingdom would agree to remain in the customs union permanently until a trade agreement which eliminated border checks was reached.

Nationalists in Northern Ireland have said Stormont should not have a say over the Brexit backstop.

The idea, he said, is to move things along so that by the time European Union leaders meet in the second week of October "we have enough in the basket to get it finally done in November".

"I'm a unionist, I believe in the Union and therefore it is very important to us that constitutionally that is protected", Ms Foster said.

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