No need to publish Brexit advice - UK Cabinet minister

Dr Kurt Hubner presents the report at the Europa Hotel in Belfast

Dr Kurt Hubner presents the report at the Europa Hotel in Belfast

There was no agreement at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday as ministers were still discussing a fix for the Irish border issue.

"It appears the Prime Minister is wedded to the idea of a border down the Irish Sea with Northern Ireland in the European Union single market regulatory regime".

A report in The Times on Friday claimed that a leaked letter from May to Foster and her deputy Nigel Dodds set out the PM's approach.

But Brussels appears set to insist on a Northern Ireland-only "backstop to the backstop" in case negotiations on a wider United Kingdom approach break down.

UK Prime Minster Theresa May has formed five new business councils to advise on how to create the best business conditions after Brexit.

But the DUP has interpreted the wording of her letter to mean that the measure will be contained in the Brexit divorce deal despite Mrs May's insistence it will never come into effect.

A memorandum leaked from within the British government gives a taste of a possible finale to the Brexit drama: Prime Minister Theresa May hails a deal in just over 10 days, supporters cheer as arranged, and the pact is put to a vote in parliament on November 27.

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The concerns focus on Attorney General Geoffrey Cox's advice on how an exit from the backstop could be found to make sure the United Kingdom is not permanently kept within a customs union, which would severely curtail its ability to strike worldwide free trade deals - a key prize for Brexiteers.

"The Government will not agree anything that brings about a hard border on the island of Ireland".

The main obstacle to an agreement is how to keep goods flowing smoothly across the border between the Republic of Ireland, an European Union member, and Northern Ireland, which is part of the U.K. All parties have committed to avoid a "hard border" with costly, time-consuming border checks that would hamper business. The Irish government opened the door on Monday to a possible concession on the final sticking point - how to avoid border checks between British Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Brexit is expected to dominate the agenda of the British Irish Council, which also involves the first ministers of Scotland and Wales, Nicola Sturgeon and Carwyn Jones.

Meanwhile, a long-awaited Brexit deal could be brokered within a week, senior European Union leader Donald Tusk has claimed.

But Brexiteers want the British government to have the power to unilaterally end it.

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