brexit countdown_bg Created with Sketch. Michel Barnier dramatically upped the stakes in the Brexit end game today as he set a midnight deadline for the EU and UK to have agreed a divorce deal. Downing Street has refused to sign up to the proposed cut-off point for a legal text to have been finalised as it said Britain would continue to work to get a deal done 'as soon as possible'. Mr Barnier believes a blueprint must be agreed by close of play this evening if there is to be any chance of a deal being signed off by European leaders at a crunch EU summit on Thursday and Friday. If no accord can be struck within the next 48 hours then the focus of that summit in Brussels - the final one scheduled before the October 31 divorce date - will shift to whether to offer the UK a delay. Below are all of the answers to all of the key questions as Brexit enters its most volatile phase yet. When does Michel Barnier believe a … [Read more...] about Will the UK meet Michel Barnier’s midnight Brexit deal deadline? And what will happen if no agreement has been hammered out before a crunch EU summit starts on Thursday?
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Boris Johnson is fighting to get the DUP and Tory hardliners on board with a Brexit deal today as fraught talks continue in Brussels. UK and EU negotiators are reconvening this morning after working late into the night - getting tantalisingly close to the legal text of a settlement. But the delicate process seemed to be derailed by the intervention of the DUP, whose leader Arlene Foster emerged from a briefing in No10 to declare there were still issues to resolve. In an ominous sign, she also swiped that she did not 'trust' the PM to strike a deal that protects the union. 'I trust myself,' she said. Splits also emerged in the hardline Tory Eurosceptic ERG bloc. While chair Steve Baker came out from his own Downing Street chat saying he was ready to endorse a 'tolerable deal', former Cabinet minister Owen Paterson branded the package 'unacceptable'. Despite the EU's Michel Barnier setting a deadline of last night for a deal to be finalised in time for tomorrow's Brussels summit, it is … [Read more...] about Brexit deal today… or MORE delay until 2020: Boris Johnson fights to win over the DUP and Tory ‘Spartans’ to seal a deal – but Arlene Foster warns she doesn’t ‘trust’ the PM and ex-minister brands package ‘unacceptable’
brexit countdown_bg Created with Sketch. Jacob Rees-Mogg admitted he might have to 'eat his words' to back Boris Johnson's Brexit deal today - as he urged Tory hardliners to compromise. The Leader of the Commons - who was a thorn in the side of Theresa May before joining Mr Johnson's government - said there were 'positive' signs an agreement could be struck with the EU. He was pressed on whether the blueprint being considered was similar to one floated by Mrs May, which he dismissed at the time as 'cretinous'. 'We'll have to find out in a day or two whether I'll have to eat my words or not - time will tell,' he told Sky News. 'There's a line from Churchill saying that he often had to eat his words and he found it to be a very nourishing diet - and that is something that happens in politics.' However, Mr Rees-Mogg said he was ready to 'trust' the PM on the package, pointing out that he had led the Leave campaign in the referendum. The minister was deployed to reassure Tory … [Read more...] about Jacob Rees-Mogg admits he might have to ‘eat his words’ to back Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal as he urges fellow Tory hardliners to compromise
Boris Johnson is edging towards the parliamentary numbers needed to pass a Brexit deal after more hardline Eurosceptics and pro-deal Labour MPs indicated they could back a new agreement made with the EU. The prime minister will need to win over almost all the 28 Tory “Spartans” who held out against Theresa May’s deal if he manages to bring an agreement back from Brussels, as well as either the Democratic Unionist party or a chunk of Labour backbenchers. There are signs that Tory Eurosceptics are moving towards backing an agreement, partly because they fear that Labour could try to push for a second referendum instead of an election. Lee Rowley, a Conservative MP who voted down May’s deal three times, gave a loyal address after the Queens speech saying he had shifted his position and his view was that parliament must get Brexit done. “We are in a hard place and all of us, whatever bench or chair we sit in, are responsible for where we end up,” he … [Read more...] about Boris Johnson wins more backing from MPs for Brexit deal
Boris Johnson is making a final push for a Brexit deal amid claims that the two sides are closing in on an agreement. In signs that negotiations are gathering pace, the PM has cancelled a Cabinet meeting this morning - and the DUP was sighted in Downing Street last night. Tomorrow looks to be the absolute deadline for getting a settlement in time for a crunch summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday, although the Finnish PM has warned he believes time has already run out. Briefing coming out of the discussions suggests the outlines of a 'hybrid' customs proposal have been thrashed out. Sources in Brussels and London told The Telegraph there was now 'cautious optimism' that a joint position will be found. Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay will head to the Belgian capital this morning to meet EU negotiator Michel Barnier and other ministers. Sources told MailOnline no-one was getting 'overexcited' about an imminent breakthrough. However, the tone has … [Read more...] about Brexit deal hopes rise as the DUP visit No 10 after ‘last-minute compromises are made’ as Boris Johnson dramatically CANCELS today’s Cabinet meeting with delicate talks on a knife edge