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Irish border deal reported settled as May meets Juncker

Irish border deal reported settled as May meets Juncker”

However, the United Kingdom has rejected the deadline with a government spokesperson saying: "With plenty of discussions still to go, Monday will be an important staging post on the road to the crucial December Council".

In London, May's spokesman said: "Progress is being made".

The EU and United Kingdom failed to reach an agreement on sufficient progress towards a Brexit deal Monday following a key lunch between Theresa May and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

According to a leak to the Irish state broadcaster RTE, the United Kingdom was willing to agree to Northern Ireland having "continued regulatory alignment" with the Republic of Ireland to ensure there was a continued soft border between the North and South.

It would mean Northern Ireland businesses adhering to the same standards and rules as their southern counterparts.

Discrepancies in customs and standard rules could lead to the re-emergence of a border on the island, risking reigniting sectarian divisions that led to decades of violence which ended with the Good Friday agreement.

One solution is to allow Northern Ireland to stay in the customs union when the rest of the United Kingdom leaves. "It was reported as if it was true, and now it turns out it was propaganda from the Irish Government", he said.

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But they added: "A deal is sought, but it all turns on Ireland, and if the Irish government gives Barnier the green light".

Speaking after a meeting of backbench MPs following the failure of talks in Brussels to reach a deal on the Border, Jacob Rees-Mogg said Conservatives agreed with the DUP.

It is understood this is a sticking point in reaching a deal on post-Brexit citizens' rights, the part of the phase one divorce negotiations that had previously been considered to be the most advanced.

The issue of citizens' rights has also remained a hurdle.

While Prime Minister Theresa May has previously insisted the entire United Kingdom will leave the single market, European Council president Donald Tusk made clear that Brexit talks cannot move on to trade issues unless the United Kingdom can satisfy Dublin there will be no return to a strictly-controlled border in Ireland. The lives of millions of families are at stake.

"It is now getting very tight but agreement at December (summit) is still possible", he tweeted.

Perhaps if the parliamentary arithmetic had been different, the prime minister might have pushed ahead and signed a deal with the European Union against the DUP's wishes. But the border issue has proved more intractable.



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