Published: Tue, November 06, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Theresa May’s ‘secret Brexit deal’ with EU

Theresa May’s ‘secret Brexit deal’ with EU

They will demand Mrs May get a mechanism added to the EU deal that would allow for the United Kingdom to decide how long it remains in a backstop customs union so that they can keep the Irish border open.

In a phone call this morning Mr Varadkar told the prime minister that Ireland could not agree to any arrangement that allowed a future United Kingdom government to walk away from a commitment to maintaining an open border in Ireland.

The publication added that Mrs May's cabinet could be discussing the plans on Tuesday and are hoping to make enough progree by Friday for the European Union to announce a special summit.

Mr Raab stoked tensions again by insisting the United Kingdom must be able to pull out of the backstop after three months, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Mr Raab is understood to be furious that David Lidington, the Cabinet Office minister and Mrs May's de facto deputy, visited Dublin last week where he rubbished a new proposal that had been put to the Irish by Mr Raab just three days earlier.

Sunday Times reports that under plans devised by May and EU negotiators, the whole of the United Kingdom would effectively remain within a customs union with the bloc after Brexit.

The EU had wanted to impose a Northern Ireland-only backstop, in which the region would remain in the single market and customs union, but May wants Brussels to accept an alternative UK-wide customs backstop, to avoid creating an invisible customs border in the Irish Sea.

Downing Street officials misled ministers at the time.

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Writing in the Sun, Mr Johnson said such a format would be "a Christmas present of the finest old Brussels fudge" meaning Britain getting "absolutely nothing in return" for an "absolutely amazing" £39 billion divorce payment.

According to the newspaper, May is also planning to reach an agreement on the EU-UK post-Brexit economic partnership, as she aspires to ensure free trade between London and Brussels.

Writing in the Sun, Mr Johnson described the arrangement as a "national humiliation", leaving the United Kingdom as "a vassal state, a colony".

"We are choosing wholesale subjection".

Former Brexit minister Steve Baker, a leading member of the European Research Group of hardline Tory MPs, said that EU withdrawal must mean departure from the customs union "in a timely way".

The backstop is an arrangement that applies if the Irish border can not be kept frictionless during a wider deal. The government has previously said the withdrawal agreement is 95 percent complete and that there's also been progress in talks on the future relationship.

"I think it sends a very strong message that the nationalist community here are not going to stand idly by and allow the British Government to disrespect them when it comes to their rights, they're not going to allow the north to become a backwater when it comes to marriage rights or language rights", she said.

"This has been committed to by the United Kingdom in order to have a Withdrawal Agreement".

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