'Deadline of deadlines' in Brexit divorce talks this week

Boris Johnson

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson leaves Downing Street Hannah Mckay Reuters

Prime Minister Theresa May's government wants the whole United Kingdom regulatory regime - for many areas including financial services - to remain closely linked to European Union rules after Brexit.

But, they warn, other member states, including powerhouses Germany and France, are growing nervous that they will not have enough time to scrutinize draft guidelines for the trade negotiations if they do not receive them a week before a summit next Friday at which leaders would approve them.

"Those Labour members who shout 'how?' - that's the whole point of the second phase of the negotiations".

The EU has had "enough time now to decide whether or not they are going to discuss trade with us, they need to get on with it and if they don't get on with it the closer we get to walking away with no deal", she said.

On a deal to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland, May said: "We will ensure there is no hard border". The PM will meet European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels, with Downing Street saying "plenty of discussions" lie ahead.

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No agreement has yet been reached between Britain and Ireland on the future of the Northern Irish border, but the breakthrough required to allow wider Brexit talks to proceed could come later on Monday, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said.

According to a agency report, deals were reached this weekend on the United Kingdom "divorce bill" and citizens' rights.

The UK voted for Brexit a year ago and is due to leave in March 2019, but negotiations between the European Union and the UK have not yet reached a breakthrough. The nearly invisible border between British-ruled Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, a key component of the 1998 Irish peace agreement, was possible because both sides were in the European Union and its single market.

The DUP said it's opposed to any arrangement in which the rules in Northern Ireland are different from those that apply in the rest of the United Kingdom. But any solution will need the support of Northern Ireland's pro-Brexit Democratic Unionist Party, whose 10 members of parliament are propping up May's government.

"Hopefully we'll find a way forward today", he said.

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