QR.bizNewsTheresa May says will not agree Brexit deal 'at any cost'

Theresa May says will not agree Brexit deal 'at any cost'

British Prime Minister Theresa May has secured a deal with the European Union on Brexit that will avoid the need for a hard border in Ireland, it has been reported.

He said he wouldn't predict the timing of a deal, but he pointed out that a Cabinet meeting could be called at any time.

"Obviously still having this issue in relation to the insurance arrangements for Northern Ireland and Ireland, and that very much remains our focus and attention in getting that deal".

"This includes ensuring that if the backstop is ever needed it is not permanent, and there is a mechanism to ensure the United Kingdom could not be held in the arrangement indefinitely", he said.

A spokeswoman for the Irish Government said that both leaders emphasised their commitment to avoiding a hard border and the need for a legally-operable backstop.

Christopher Vecchio, an analyst at Daily FX, said: "UK Brexit minister Raab leaves meeting and gives a "thumbs up" - $GBP gets a bump across the board".

Mr Varadkar told the Irish state broadcaster RT: "Brexit has undermined the Good Friday Agreement and is fraying the relationship between Britain and Ireland".

Brexit is undermining Northern Ireland's hard-won peace by creating tensions between Catholic and Protestant communities, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Saturday, even as hopes rose for a solution to the Irish border problem that has deadlocked negotiations.

Ms O'Neill commended the letter signed by 1,000 nationalists across Ireland to Mr Varadkar, urging him to defend the rights of Irish citizens north of the border amid uncertainty caused by Brexit and Stormont's political crisis.

The Lagan Valley MP's remarks came after Irish deputy prime minister Simon Coveney rejected a time-limited backstop or a backstop that could be ended unilaterally by the UK.

Chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier said the two negotiating teams are not yet close to an agreement.

In the run-up to the UK's 2016 Brexit referendum, the Irish border barely featured in the debate.

"Looks like we're heading for no deal", he tweeted.

Mr Matheson, speaking in Treasury questions, said: 'The Government's own figures demonstrate between a 2% and 8% hit on the broader economy on Brexit, so isn't it the case that there is no form of Brexit that won't have a massive impact on the public finances and therefore on public services?'

Mrs May is understood to view the mechanism as a means of allaying the concerns of Conservative and DUP MPs who want guarantees that any future membership of a customs union is temporary.

They include making sure that the backstop was not permanent and ensuring there was a mechanism so that the backstop could not bind Britain against its will.

The UK government will reportedly discuss May's plan on Tuesday, as London aspires to promptly reach sufficient progress in Brexit talks, thus opening door for a European Union summit for finalizing the details to be held later in the month.

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