Home UK Last-minute Brexit talks to take place in Brussels

Last-minute Brexit talks to take place in Brussels


Brexit secretary Dominic Raab is in Brussels this afternoon for a last-minute face-to-face meeting with EU negotiator Michel Barnier.

The announcement fuelled speculation that a Brexit deal may be close – potentially leading to a flashpoint for Theresa May's leadership.

"With several big issues still to resolve, including the Northern Ireland backstop, it was jointly agreed that face-to-face talks were necessary ahead of this week's October European Council," a UK government spokesperson said.

It comes after David Davis issued a dramatic call to cabinet ministers to stage a mutiny against the prime minister to kill her Brexit plan.

The prime minister will be travelling to Brussels on Wednesday for a summit where both sides hope to sign off on a draft withdrawal agreement setting out the terms for Britain's divorce from the EU.

This is despite DUP leader Arlene Foster reportedly being "ready" to trigger a "no-deal" Brexit.

She regards this as the "likeliest outcome" following a "hostile and difficult" exchange with Mr Barnier last week.

The issue of the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland is one of the last remaining obstacles to achieving a divorce deal.

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Mr Davis has said Mrs May's plan to keep the UK in a customs union is "completely unacceptable" and "flawed".

Video: reland's deputy PM and foreign minister Simon Coveney directly contradicts the UK government's stance on the Irish border issue.

Writing in The Sunday Times, the former Brexit secretary wrote: "This is one of the most fundamental decisions that government has taken in modern times.

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"It is time for the cabinet to exert their collective authority. This week the authority of our constitution is on the line."

It has been reported that four more letters demanding a vote of no confidence in the PM were submitted last week after three during the Tory conference, making a total of 44, just four short of the number needed to trigger a vote.

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