United Kingdom says it will maintain existing European Union sanctions after no-deal Brexit


The UK EU and both parts of Ireland want to avoid the return of customs officials to the Irish border

Negotiations between Britain and the European Union on Brexit have been thrown into crisis again, with a growing government revolt emerging in London ahead of a high-stakes summit in Brussels next week.

Writing in the Belfast News Letter, Boris Johnson also called on Downing Street to scrap the Irish backstop.

Britain wants any "backstop" arrangement to be time-limited.

Following three days of talks with key figures in Brussels, DUP leader Arlene Foster - whose party props up the Government at Westminster - issued a renewed warning that they could not accept the European Union proposals as they stood. However, Brussels also wants to place an effective one-way turnstile from Northern Ireland into the rest of the United Kingdom.

"Our position is that this future economic relationship needs to be in place by the end of December 2021 at the latest".

So in the coming days, when we see legal text of draft backstop and Withdrawal Agreement, this will surely be the time for Tory Brexiters to choose between supporting the PM and maintaining the fiction of party unity on the one hand and their ambitions for what the United Kingdom could and should be.

The Times newspaper reported May was warned the issue was so serious that she could face further cabinet resignations unless she found a way to ensure the backstop was not permanent.

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Labour demands that Britain retain "the exact same" perks it now has within the EU's customs union and single market - something May's so-called Chequers plan does not meet and which the EU rules out since London made a decision to leave both. "The British people voted to take back control over money, laws borders and trade".

However, Mr Hammond told Bloomberg TV: "We are not going to remain in anything indefinitely, we are very clear this has to be a temporary period".

Cabinet ministers including trade secretary Liam Fox, environment secretary Michael Gove, Brexit secretary Dominic Raab, and foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt have reportedly expressed concerns.

Ministers at all levels of the government - including as many as six Cabinet members - are thought to be ready to step down if the Prime Minister gives too much ground on the issue.

Other cabinet members, who appeared to not have been invited to the meeting, including Esther McVey, the work and pensions secretary, and Penny Mordaunt, the global development secretary, were said to be frustrated with the lack of a time limit, and, according to The Times, citing an unnamed source, were considering their positions.

Worldwide development secretary Penny Mordaunt and the leader of the commons Andrea Leadsom - who, both backed Leave in the referendum in 2016 - were also said to harbour deep concerns.

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