European Union says there has been ‘no breakthrough’ in Brexit talks

EU officials warned to prepare for no-deal Brexit

Brexit deal next week 'within reach': Barnier

Not such a pleasant morning for the Prime Minister who is trying to please the DUP, the European Research Group - the ultra pro-Brexit wing of her own party - and the EU. However, the British government would be able to point to criteria under which the arrangement would be terminated, fulfilling the British desire for it to appear to be a temporary arrangement.

Barnier said Brexit would trigger the need for customs, Value-Added Tax and compliance checks with EU standards between Ireland and Northern Ireland in the event that a planned "backstop" were triggered because a future EU-UK trade deal was not sufficient in itself to ensure the land frontier was not a "hard border".

The plan would keep the whole of the United Kingdom in a customs union with the EU until a free trade deal was reached.

Talks on the divorce deal are stuck on how to keep the border open between Northern Ireland, which is part of Britain, and European Union member Ireland to the south.

Penny Mordaunt, the International Development. Can all three ever be satisfied with the terms of a Brexit deal? "There are big issues still to resolve".

"An agreement is within reach for Oct 17, next Wednesday, if we succeed to the end of this negotiation now", Barnier said in a speech to business leaders at the European Parliament.

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Mrs Foster, speaking after a third day of talks in Brussels, said the decisions made by the Prime Minister in the comings days will be "critical" for Northern Ireland.

The plan would also involve keeping Northern Ireland in the single market to help maintain frictionless trade across the border with the Republic while mainland Britain would be outwith the single market.

Theresa May will on Thursday ask her Brexit "war Cabinet" to agree a backstop plan that would keep Britain in a customs union with Brussels until a permanent trade deal can be agreed.

The agreement will also see Northern Ireland remain within the single market in a bid to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland, should both sides fail to secure a trade deal after the transition period. They suggested that senior ministers including David Lidington, May's de facto deputy, Northern Ireland secretary Karen Bradley and chief whip Julian Smith would try to find a solution to the DUP's demands.

'I think that next week we can be very cautiously optimistic that we will make progress, ' Rutte said at a joint press conference with German chancellor Angela Merkel.

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