Boris Johnson calls for PM May to ditch Brexit border backstop

Boris Johnson calls for PM May to ditch Brexit border backstop

Theresa May has briefed key ministers on the Brexit negotiations amid speculation the Government is moving closer to a deal with Brussels.

Without a time limit, critics say Britain could be tied to the European Union indefinitely unable to negotiate free trade deals with other countries.

British and European Union negotiators this month have accelerated the push for a Brexit deal but talks remain snagged on the issue of the border between Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, and the Irish Republic, an EU member state.

Arlene Foster has warned Theresa May not to cut Northern Ireland adrift with a "dodgy" Brexit deal amid reports the prime minister is considering breaking the Tories' pact with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

The former foreign secretary said: "The fatal error was not to challenge the EU's position that the only way of avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland - an objective we all share - is for Northern Ireland to have the same regulations for trade as Ireland and the rest of the EU".

Mr Coveney said a time-limited backstop was a "deal breaker".

The SNP's constitutional relations secretary Michael Russell said he underlined the need to stay in the European Union single market to preserve Scotland's £104 billion services industry. "The British people voted to take back control over money, laws borders and trade".

Seven Palestinians killed in border protests: Gaza health officials
The majority were killed during border demonstrations, though others have died in airstrikes and tank shelling. And Israel accuses Hamas, of orchestrating the protests to provide cover for attacks.

Downing Street has insisted that Mrs May would never agree a Brexit deal with the EU which "traps" the United Kingdom permanently in a customs union.

But Mr Hammond told Bloomberg TV: "We are not going to remain in anything indefinitely, we are very clear this has to be a temporary period.

Anyone engaging in this in a light-hearted way foolishly fails to grasp the gravity of the decisions we will make in the coming weeks", Foster said.

Other cabinet members, who appeared to not have been invited to the meeting, including Esther McVey, the work and pensions secretary, and Penny Mordaunt, the worldwide development secretary, were said to be frustrated with the lack of a time limit, and, according to The Times, citing an unnamed source, were considering their positions.

A senior Cabinet source told BI that the House of Commons leader Andrea Leadsom will decide on Monday whether to resign once the prime minister has presented her final backstop proposal, with her Cabinet colleagues including Mordaunt and McVey also poised to quit.

As talks with Brussels continued, Whitehall published a series of documents on preparations for a no-deal Brexit.

Eurosceptics want a time limit for how long Britain will keep following the EU's customs rules before it can strike out on its own and sign independent trade agreements with new partners.

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