Theresa May 'facing more resignations over her Brexit deal'

Main Irish border crossings

Main Irish border crossings

Senior sources told the paper that Prime Minister Theresa May has secured concessions from Brussels, with the EU agreeing to write an "all-UK" customs union into the divorce deal.

Ireland's prime minister has told Theresa May in a hastily arranged phone call that he cannot allow the United Kingdom to unilaterally decide when to terminate the Irish backstop, creating the possibility that Britain could be tied in a customs union with the EU for the long term.

Britain would remain in a temporary customs union with the EU, avoiding a hard Irish border, as part of a new deal being thrashed out between London and Brussels, according to a Sunday Times report.

But Downing Street has reportedly dismissed the report as "speculation".

Here, Labour leader Brendan Howlin said he remained "very fearful" Irish interests could be sacrificed by Europe to secure a deal and said Ireland has to be "vigilant".

"The (British) Prime Minister raised the possibility of a review mechanism for the backstop", the spokeswoman added.

The Taoiseach also said the UK's withdrawal from the bloc had undermined the historic Good Friday Agreement that ended three decades of violence in Northern Ireland and called for a guarantee that there would be no return of a hard border with the Republic.

Mr Johnson dismissed suggestions that the arrangement would lead the way to a Canada-style trade deal, arguing that the joint UK/EU political declaration on the future relationship due to be released alongside the withdrawal agreement will be "worthless".

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The backstop plan enraged the DUP, which is propping up May's Conservative government at Westminster, and the PM has since said she could "not accept" any deal that would require a customs border between the North and Great Britain. Appears any old deal now better than no deal'.

"Obviously still having this issue in relation to the insurance arrangements for Northern Ireland and Ireland, and that very much remains our focus and attention in getting that deal".

"There is no competitor worthy of replacing us", Glen said, adding there would be no regulatory "isolation" or race to the bottom in financial rules after Brexit.

"Theresa May came from "not in a customs union" to being temporarily in a customs union".

The UK would effectively become a non-voting member of the European Union, forced to accept laws made in Brussels with no power to shape or amend them, he said.

"We hope a deal can be done but we're not there yet".

If the Prime Minister simply fails to secure a deal or it is rejected by Parliament, the country would in theory embark on a transition-free "No Deal" Brexit come March, with Britain and the European Union dealing with each other on the same standard World Trade Organisation terms as the United States and the European Union, for example.

Other people who put their name to the letter include Cobra Beer founder Lord Bilimoria, former Marks and Spencer chairman and ex-Labour peer Lord Myners, Alex Chesterman, founder of the Zoopla property website, and Sir Simon Robertson, the ex-chairman of Rolls-Royce.

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