Sterling lifted by Brexit deal

Theresa May and Arlene Foster are at loggerheads over Brexit

Theresa May and Arlene Foster are at loggerheads over Brexit

The party that props up Prime Minister Theresa May said it only received the text of the draft Brexit deal late on the morning of December 4 and told the British government that the terms were unacceptable.

Tusk's role in the delicate choreography of reaching an accord had been to wait until May strikes a deal on making "sufficient progress" on divorce terms with Juncker's Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier.

Mrs May has said she wants a deep and special partnership and a better deal than the free-trade agreement that Canada secured from the EU.

A breakthrough deal on the first stage of Brexit has been dramatically secured by British Prime Minister Theresa May after making "sufficient progress" in early-morning European Union talks.

Conversations continued with the DUP, which scuppered a deal on the Irish border on Monday after balking at "regulatory alignment" planned between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

A spokesman for PM May said Brexit discussions were ongoing while a senior Irish official that talks were moving swiftly and that a deal was possible in hours. The border issue has been threatening to derail the divorce talks.

Theresa May and Arlene Foster are at loggerheads over Brexit
Theresa May and Arlene Foster are at loggerheads over Brexit

Mrs May said the deal would ensure "no hard border" in Ireland. DUP leader Arlene Foster told Sky News there had now been changes following talks with May.

Despite the appearance of good cheer on both sides, significant tensions appeared to remain embedded in the agreement over the divorce deal, which will not be finalized until the very end of the full Brexit negotiation.

Yesterday the Commission's spokesman Margaritis Schinas indicated that window could be pushed - albeit slightly - as there was no "white smoke" on the deal yet. Scotland's nationalist leader showed little patience, accusing the British government of being "totally and utterly incompetent" on Brexit. Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem offered some calming words, saying Britain's City of London financial hub "will not fall apart" after Brexit even if it loses the right to allow banks to trade freely across the bloc.

"We're very confident that we will be able to move this forward", finance minister Philip Hammond said as he arrived for a meeting with European Union counterparts in Brussels.

"Millions of jobs depend on the future trading relationship we will determine", May said in Brussels.

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