Brexit: British Prime Minister Theresa May faces backlash from within Cabinet

Theresa May

Brexiteers and Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionists reacted angrily to the proposal, which Michel Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator, said meant a Brexit deal was now "within reach" by next week's key European Council.

Blair, a prominent voice opposed to Brexit, resigned as prime minister in 2008.

The Former Labour Prime Minister also said Theresa May is unlikely to get her Chequers Brexit plan through parliament, urging Labour MPs to vote against it.

Theresa May is under pressure to reverse course after Cabinet ministers threatened to walk out over her reported plans for a potential Brexit "backstop" which could effectively keep Britain permanently inside a Customs Union with the EU after Brexit.

The deal believed to be on the table involves keeping the whole United Kingdom in an "arrangement" that effectively preserves the existing EU customs union, ensuring the goods continue to move freely over the Irish land border regardless of the future trade relationship between London and Brussels.

"You break your promises and we then don't feel committed to keeping our side of the bargain".

Eurosceptics want a time limit for how long Britain will keep following the EU's customs rules before it can strike out on its own and sign independent trade agreements with new partners.

But how she finesses this will now be crucial to avoid a total roadblock from the European Union, which has made clear time and again any Northern Ireland guarantee has to be open-ended, otherwise it's not a guarantee at all.

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The Northern Ireland Retail Consortium (NIRC), which was also at the meeting, said the deal on the table was uniquely beneficial to Northern Ireland's economy, which would suffer disproportionately from Brexit.

And following three days of talks with key figures in Brussels, DUP leader Arlene Foster said the Prime Minister could not in "good conscience" accept the proposals now on the table from the EU.

MORE: We've come so far - now for the big push He said: "Nearly two and a half years on from the referendum, we are, both on the European Union deal, and on other post Brexit trade deals, still lost in campaign mode on fantasy island". 'An terrible lot depends on the talks in the coming days'.

"Most of the trade between north and south is by small traders, 98% of firms in Northern Ireland employ fewer than 20 people, 95% employ fewer than 10 people".

As that departure date creeps closer, pressure on May from various directions is intensifying. High stakes at high noon for these Brexit negotiations. She'd be ripping up her guarantee to support the PM in the commons.

The parliamentary arithmetic is hard for May who commands a majority of only 13 lawmakers including the DUP.

A functioning Northern Ireland executive could have an impact on the final terms of any Brexit deal, she emphasised.

Earlier this week EU officials expected that a possible new United Kingdom proposal on the Irish border issue would suggest having the United Kingdom remain in the customs union indefinitely.

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