New Brexit deal would avoid the need for an Irish border backstop

Ireland's Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

Ireland's Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

In a tweet on Monday Mr Coveney said: "The Irish position remains consistent and very clear that a "time-limited backstop" or a backstop that could be ended by United Kingdom unilaterally would never be agreed to by Ireland or EU".

This would avoid the EU's "backstop" solution of treating Northern Ireland differently from the rest of Britain.

Theresa May faces a Cabinet showdown with Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab after he privately accused Downing Street of undermining his attempts to solve the Irish border problem.

While European Council President Donald Tusk said in September that an extraordinary summit would be called for November 17-18 to finalize and formalize the EU-UK arrangement if sufficient progress in talks was reached, the EU leaders are now not planning this extraordinary summit.

The Prime Minister was reported last night to have secured private concessions from Brussels that would keep the whole of the United Kingdom in a customs union with the EU.

Mr Varadkar insisted that Britain could not decide to do that on its own.

"He recalled the prior commitments made that the backstop must apply "unless and until" alternative arrangements are agreed". But that goal has been complicated by May's intention to take Britain out of the EU customs union and single market.

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Farage added that if the British elite betrayed Brexit, he did not think there would be violence on the streets but that British politics would be shaken up and the Conservative Party would suffer badly.

Her plan would avoid the need for a hard border in Northern Ireland, which has always been the main sticking point in negotiations. In the 2016 referendum, Britons voted 52-48 per cent in favour of Brexit. Coveney was later quoted as saying a "middle-ground position" on the backstop arrangement could be found, but added it must be legally watertight. Britain wants to limit it while the European Union says any clear cut-off date attached to the backstop would defeat its goal.

EU officials believe there needs to be "decisive progress" by the weekend in the talks for Donald Tusk, the European council president, to be able to announce a summit for the end of November.

Grieve rejected the argument that MPs should back whatever deal Theresa May secures in order to avoid a disorderly exit from the European Union, repeating his call for any deal to be put to a second referendum.

Mr Raab is understood to be furious that David Lidington, the Cabinet Office minister and Mrs May's de facto deputy, visited Dublin last week where he rubbished a new proposal that had been put to the Irish by Mr Raab just three days earlier.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has reportedly secured a series of "secret" concessions from the European Union that could allow the whole of the United Kingdom to effectively remain within a customs union with the bloc after Brexit.

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