May, Juncker 'likely' to hold Brexit talks at 0600 GMT

Theresa May and Arlene Foster are at loggerheads over Brexit

A mooted agreement between the United Kingdom and European Union on divorce issues including the Irish border, which would allow talks to progress to the future trade relationship, was torpedoed on Monday by the DUP.

Chancellor Philip Hammond congratulated the Mrs May, saying on Twitter: "Delighted a deal agreed in Brussels that paves way for further progress on talks about future UK/EU relationship".

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which the Conservatives are relying on to prop up their minority government, refused to support an open Irish border.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker needs to have a meeting with Theresa may, the head of the British Parliament.

DUP leader Arlene Foster and Theresa May reportedly spent hours on the phone overnight discussing the post-Brexit Irish land border. "We will stay very firm".

On the issue of the UK's so-called "divorce bill", which is expected to total up to £50 billion, Mrs May said that in her landmark speech in Florence in September she had made clear the United Kingdom was "a country that honours our obligations".

The border issue has been threatening to derail the divorce talks.

Theresa May and Arlene Foster are at loggerheads over Brexit
Theresa May and Arlene Foster are at loggerheads over Brexit

Moving to talks about trade and a Brexit transition are crucial for the future of May's premiership, and to keep trade flowing between the world's biggest trading bloc and its sixth largest national economy after Britain leaves on March 29, 2019.

Donald Tusk - the president of the European Council - speaks during a press conference at Government buildings in Dublin, Ireland, December 1, 2017.

An Irish Government spokesman said: "Matters are being considered as part of ongoing discussions involving the (EU negotiating) Task Force, the Irish Government and the British Government".

The Lib Dem spokesman said there was "still no solution over how to prevent a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland" in the text of the joint report.

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) insists that Northern Ireland, as part of the United Kingdom, must leave the European Union in the same way as the rest of the United Kingdom.

Mrs May's Conservative administration is fiercely divided over Brexit - her Cabinet has yet to decide what kind of trading arrangements it wants from Europe. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson - a leading Brexit campaigner - voiced concerns to May earlier this week when it looked like she was aiming for to preserve European Union rules after the divorce.

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