EU's Barnier offers better terms over Irish border to get Brexit deal

Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street in London on Sept. 12 2018. Toby Melville  Reuters

Mr Barnier, speaking on the eve of an informal meeting of European Union leaders in Mozart's birthplace of Salzburg, said a full European Union summit to be held in two weeks' time would be "the moment of truth".

Mr Barnier is proposing using technology to check goods crossing the Irish Sea, but Mrs May has always made clear that any proposal that creates a border between the United Kingdom mainland and Northern Ireland would be "unacceptable to any Prime Minister".

The Prime Minister has faced growing pressure over her Brexit plan - which has come to be dubbed as the "Chequers Plan" (after the location at which it was forged) that would result in Britain maintaining a common rulebook for goods, including agricultural products, with the European Union after Brexit.

Mr Varadkar added: "It is fair to say that some of the things I have been reading in the British papers, particularly the British-owned papers, are very far off the mark when it comes to the reality of what is going on at the minute with these negotiations".

And aware that Mrs May has ruled out a new border between Northern Ireland and the British mainland, he said he was looking at a broad range of ways in which the European Union could be sure that Britain did not use Northern Ireland's special status to sidestep European Union controls on British goods.

Other Indian-origin pro-Brexit MPs, including Rishi Sunak the son-in-law of Infosys chief Narayana Murthy, and Goan-origin Suella Fernandes had joined Patel in signing an open letter in the lead up to the Brexit referendum making similar arguments on immigration, which marked one of the most contentious issues in the Brexit debate.

She welcomed Malta's prime minister Joseph Muscat to Downing Street for talks ahead of the summit.

Third, Tusk said, the leaders should "reconfirm the need for a legally operational backstop on Ireland, so as to be sure that there will be no hard border in the future".

The International Monetary Fund on Monday said Britain's economy would suffer "substantial costs" should it leave the European Union without a deal.

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"Of course Boris Johnson doesn't agree with some of the policy decisions that she's taken, but Theresa May has to speak not just for the 52 % who voted for Brexit, she has to speak for 100%of the country".

The EU's backstop proposal has been rejected by the UK because it effectively creates a customs border in the Irish sea, while the UK's plan was rejected by the UK because it was temporary and applied to the whole of the UK, rather than only Northern Ireland.

A key Northern Ireland business group has warned that the findings of the Migration Advisory Committee, which urge the United Kingdom to drastically limit the post-Brexit immigration of low-skilled workers, could force employers to relocate to the Republic of Ireland.

The EU is standing by its demand for a legal backstop in any deal precluding a "hard border" Ireland that would undermine the Good Friday peace accord. PM Theresa May explains what the government has agreed, and what this means for us leaving the EU.

"It's really important that this is not a re-run of the referendum but the British public having a say for the first time on the outcome", Mr Khan told the BBC.

His comments echoed those of the Brexit Secretary, who set out the UK's position in an interview with journalists from newspapers across the EU.

EU Council President Donald Tusk wrote that "unfortunately, a no deal scenario is still quite possible".

Gove said the responsibility was now with Brussels "because we've shown flexibility".

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