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

Theresa May looking isolated in Salzburg

Theresa May looking isolated in Salzburg

The unionist leader said she feared that the European Union was forcing Northern Ireland into a deal that amounted to "the worst of one world" in which the region would remain part of the single market and remain under the ECJ, and would remain subject to trade restrictions with the rest of the UK.

Commenting on the Irish backstop, Barnier said the EU's plan to keep Northern Ireland in the Single Market and customs union would help keep the border invisible - a goal of both sets of negotiators.

Mrs May is expected to chair a meeting of her most trusted Cabinet members on Thursday in order to finalise her backstop plans before sending them to Brussels.

He suggested all 10 DUP MPs could vote down this month's budget to "pull the government back into keeping its promises".

He added: "When we entered into the confidence and supply arrangement with the Government, we did so to enable it to deliver on the fiscal elements of its domestic programme and the referendum result to leave the EU".

Selmayr, secretary general of the European Commission, has been tasked with coordinating preparedness to protect the EU from economic and political damage if Britain leaves the bloc on March 29 next year without a divorce deal in place. It would have implications not just for Brexit legislation - 50% of which would not have passed without DUP support - but also for the Budget, welfare reform and other domestic legislation.

He said the only "visible systematic" customs checks between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom would mean scanning the barcodes on lorries or containers, which could be done on ferries or in transit ports, and filling out online customs declarations. It must be one of the worrying questions for Downing Street.

Cabinet ministers briefed on the Brexit talks said the issue of the Irish backstop was close to being settled, the FT said.

The Northern Irish party that British Prime Minister Theresa May's government relies on for support says it will consider backing a vote of no-confidence if May agrees to European Union checks on goods entering the region post-Brexit.

"The prime minister is a unionist".

Theresa May has been put on notice by her allies in the Democratic Unionist Party to change course on Brexit or risk the collapse of her government.

Theresa May will on Thursday ask her Brexit "war Cabinet" to agree a backstop plan that would keep Britain in a customs union with Brussels until a permanent trade deal can be agreed.

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