UK's Brexit chief rushes to Brussels for Sunday talks

Mark Rutte and Angela Merkel outside the Dutch parliamentary complex

Mark Rutte and Angela Merkel outside the Dutch parliamentary complex

If we were to allow this economic annexation of Northern Ireland, by a foreign power, we would be treating Northern Irish MPs as somehow second class legislators, deprived now and forever of any say in numerous laws operational in their own constituencies.

But the Guardian and Daily Telegraph reported that the option of a potential extension was being considered by negotiators in Brussels to allow extra time to drawn up a deal on the future UK-EU relationship - and avoid the need to use a controversial "backstop" arrangement to prevent a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

To ease these concerns, the idea of a backstop was proposed to act as a form of safety net which would be used in the event that a plan is not agreed between both sides.

The issue of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, which will become the UK's border with the European Union, is one of the last remaining obstacles to achieving a divorce deal with Brussels.

He said a "real effort" had been made over the past 10 days by the two negotiating teams so that a set of recommendations would be ready for this Wednesday.

European Union advisers of the 27 member states staying on in the European Union after Brexit are also due to meet in Brussels that day. "That's new. It hasn't been there before", he said.

DUP leader Arlene Foster said Thursday that May and her government "could not in good conscience recommend a deal which places a trade barrier on United Kingdom businesses moving goods from one part of the Kingdom to another". "I'm determined, we're going to find an agreement for an orderly withdrawal which is much better than the opposite and Dominic and I think it's possible to reach that in October".

But she added: "Getting May out and him becoming an interim leader may be the only way to deliver Brexit and FTA (a free-trade agreement)".

DUP leader Arlene Foster remains opposed to any Brexit plan that would require checks on goods traveling between Northern Ireland and Britain, as some European Union leaders have suggested as part of a backstop.

The Prime Minister said there had been a "great deal of inaccurate speculation" about how the talks were progressing.

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It is unclear now whether the leaders will call for the November summit this week.

The EU and United Kingdom signed up to a basic version of this proposal in December past year but there have been 10 months of disagreements on how this would be implemented, invariably holding up talks.

He says the need "to avoid a hard border" between Ireland and the U.K's Northern Ireland is among the unsettled issues. But so far that has not met British reservations.

Both sides want to avoid a return to checks on what will become the United Kingdom's only land border with the European Union to avoid hindering trade on the island of Ireland and reawakening tensions two decades after a peace deal ended years of violence in Northern Ireland.

One diplomat said that if an agreement takes shape, British Prime Minister Theresa May's government would discuss it Monday.

David Davis, who quit as Brexit secretary in July over May's broad blueprint, wrote in The Sunday Times newspaper that her plans were "completely unacceptable" and urged ministers to "exert their collective authority" this week.

Brexit talks hang in the balance as negotiators work through the weekend, with neither side confident they will clinch a deal in time to meet a self-imposed deadline of Monday.

British Prime Minister Theresa May is under intense pressure from her Conservative Party and its parliamentary allies not to give any more ground in negotiations, especially on the border issue.

"I think if a reasonable deal is on the table the question for some of my Labour colleagues is 'why wouldn't you support a deal, why would you stand along (with) Boris Johnson or Jacob Rees-Mogg who want us to crash out without a deal?"

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