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Financial Times reports: UK PM Theresa May says Brexit deal is close

12 October 2018

Barnier told small business leaders that the talks were "continuing intensively this week, day and night, with the aim. of having a deal within reach, if we follow through to the end of this negotiations, on October 17".

Numerous problems are now being solved on a step by step basis "but there are, of course" several big issues which we really need to get to grips with, ' the prime minister said.

The Prime Minister reportedly asked senior ministers in her "Brexit war cabinet" on Thursday to agree to a proposal to keep Britain inside a customs union with the EU, if she fails to agree any alternative arrangements before the end of the two year Brexit transition period.

"She has made it very, very clear that she will not allow there to be border down the Irish Sea, that the integrity of the United Kingdom must remain intact".

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In both calls, they asked for more details and for the Saudi government to be transparent in the investigation process. The Washington Post , where Khashoggi had been a regular contributor over the past year, also demanded answers.

May has ruled out any agreement which could see customs or regulatory barriers being erected between Northern Ireland and mainland Britain.

They said tentative planning could see a breakthrough announced on Monday when European Union negotiators representing the bloc's national leaders meet in Brussels without Britain.

"Trade from Great Britain into Northern Ireland would be in danger of restriction".

The Northern Ireland Retail Consortium (NIRC), which was also at the meeting, said the deal on the table was uniquely beneficial to Northern Ireland's economy, which would suffer disproportionately from Brexit.

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This version of the story corrects 4th paragraph to make clear that Washington has been seeking inspection of Yongbyon. Pompeo, however, played down the differences. "I would certainly expect so", the official said.

Brexiteers are particularly anxious that Britain could be tied to European Union mechanisms indefinitely, hindering the country's ability to strike independent trade deals after it has left the bloc. Britain's Brexit minister, Dominic Raab, could also come to Brussels then if weekend talks cover enough ground. Up to 80 Tories are also reportedly considering voting it down. The Cabinet is unlikely to agree the new proposal on Tuesday, so the European Union summit may have to park some key issues until November.

The challenge facing the British PM now is to sell the latest formulation to the whole of her Cabinet and avoid any resignations, having already faced down the resignations of former foreign minister Boris Johnson and former Brexit minister David Davis back in July.

By withdrawing its support, the DUP could make it hard for May to pass legislation through parliament, including the budget which will be voted on later this month.

Speaking after her Brussels meeting, Mrs Foster refused to play down the growing rift between her party and the Conservative Government. Many Cabinet ministers last night warned May that the plan simply would not pass through the Commons if it did not contain a time-limited provision because it would look like the United Kingdom had agreed to an endless customs union with Europe, the BBC reported.

United Nations 'concern' over Khashoggi disapperance relayed to Saudis
The tension between the two countries is nothing new - their mutual dislike goes back to the days of the Ottoman Empire. Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin says the proposal to set up the committee was made by Saudi Arabia.

The OBR, an independent non-departmental public body, said it was "next to impossible" to predict the consequences of a no-deal Brexit.

Financial Times reports: UK PM Theresa May says Brexit deal is close