Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Brexit: No deal brings risk of stockpiling says watchdog

EU officials warned to prepare for no-deal Brexit Brexit deal next week 'within reach': Barnier
Ginger Lawrence | 12 October, 2018, 05:52

The backstop plan being proposed by Mrs May would involve the whole of the United Kingdom remaining in a customs union with the EU while negotiations over a free trade deal take place, which Brexiteers fear could take years.

Sammy Wilson, the DUP's Brexit spokesman, warned the PM was pursuing "the road to parliamentary defeat" because his party would vote against any deal that included the proposed backstop, branded a "sell-out".

His constituency contains the port of Larne, identified by European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier as a place where checks on animals and animal products from Great Britain into Northern Ireland could be intensified in order to prevent a hard border with the Republic of Ireland.

The challenge for May will be in selling the formulation to the whole cabinet.

At least three eurosceptic Cabinet ministers are said to be considering quitting over the latest concession, which appears to contradict Mrs May's promise earlier this year that the backstop would expire "at the very latest by the end of December 2021".

McVey's formulation echoed that used on Tuesday by Penny Mordaunt, the worldwide development secretary, who said that while "the prime minister can count on my support" she did not know "where this is going to end up". Michael Russell will be there representing the Scottish Government and is expected to once again sound the alarm about the damage to Scotland's economy a hard or no-deal Brexit would do. "There are big issues still to resolve".

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"The prime minister is a unionist".

"An agreement is within reach if we are to end these negotiations on the 17 October at the European Council [summit]", Barnier told European entrepreneurs in the European Parliament.

The paper quoted an official close to the Brexit talks as saying May never brings the Cabinet together to tell them recent developments and so "it feels to me like the deal is practically done".

He also stressed the EU's insistence that Britain must accept possible checks on goods moving between its mainland and its province of Northern Ireland, saying Brexit will trigger the need for customs, value-added tax and compliance checks with European Union standards.

The Democratic Unionist Party, which props up Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative government, threatened to vote against the forthcoming budget if she makes a deal that disadvantages Northern Ireland.

Speaking to reporters in Brussels, Margaritis Schinas said: "We are not there yet".