DUP's Foster says May 'cannot in good conscience' recommend Brexit backstop

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Sammy Wilson, the DUP's Brexit spokesman, warned the PM was pursuing "the road to parliamentary defeat" because his party would vote against any deal that included the proposed backstop, branded a "sell-out". However, the British government would be able to point to criteria under which the arrangement would be terminated, fulfilling the British desire for it to appear to be a temporary arrangement.

Cabinet ministers briefed on Brexit talks said the issue of the Irish backstop was also close to being settled, the newpaper said. Policing of the deal and agreeing rules on produce such as camembert cheese and Parma ham that is protected inside the European Union against imitations from elsewhere needed more polishing, he added.

The deal believed to be on the table involves keeping the whole United Kingdom in an "arrangement" that effectively preserves the existing EU customs union, ensuring the goods continue to move freely over the Irish land border regardless of the future trade relationship between London and Brussels.

Penny Mordaunt, the International Development.

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

"An agreement is within reach for Oct 17, next Wednesday, if we succeed to the end of this negotiation now", Barnier said in a speech to business leaders at the European Parliament.

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One source close to Ms McVey told the FT: "They are going to talk a lot over the weekend and consider what they will live with and what they will walk over".

He also stressed the EU's insistence that Britain must accept possible checks on goods moving between its mainland and its province of Northern Ireland, saying Brexit will trigger the need for customs, value-added tax and compliance checks with European Union standards.

Mrs Foster, speaking after a third day of talks in Brussels, said the decisions made by the Prime Minister in the comings days will be "critical" for Northern Ireland.

Michelle O'Neill, Sinn Fein's vice-president, responded by saying that "the DUP does not speak for the majority of the people of the north on Brexit".

Whitehall sources said before the meeting that they expected that key members of the cabinet would also discuss how to handle the DUP.

'I think that next week we can be very cautiously optimistic that we will make progress, ' Rutte said at a joint press conference with German chancellor Angela Merkel.

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