No need to publish Brexit advice - UK Cabinet minister

UK PM May dives into flurry of diplomacy in bid to clinch Brexit deal

Theresa May faced a fresh Brexit headache as her plans risked a rift with her Democratic Unionist Party allies. Mrs May has previously insisted no United Kingdom prime minister could ever agree to such proposals.

Fox rejected the idea that the backstop could be ended by mutual agreement with the European Union, telling reporters that Britain could not "sub contract" the decision to the other side.

May's plan would see the whole United Kingdom effectively agree to remain in the customs union to help avoid a hard border with Ireland as a backstop if no other arrangement can be found. But she stresses that she would never allow a divide between Northern Ireland and Britain to "come into force".

International Trade Secretary Liam Fox sent a message to the prime minister that quitting a backstop arrangement, aimed at preventing a hard Irish border, should be a decision for the United Kingdom alone.

Parliament would vote on 27 November, according to the document.

"The Government will not agree anything that brings about a hard border on the island of Ireland".

A Downing Street spokesman said: "The Prime Minister's letter sets out her commitment, which she has been absolutely clear about on any number of occasions, to never accepting any circumstances in which the United Kingdom is divided into two customs territories".

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Hazard had been due to be off by then and Sarri was gesticulating wildly in his technical area, apparently towards the Belgian. There was all the conditions to play very badly, for the cold, for the opponents, for the pitch, for everything.

The main obstacle to an agreement is how to keep goods flowing smoothly across the border between the Republic of Ireland, an European Union member, and Northern Ireland, which is part of the U.K. All parties have committed to avoid a "hard border" with costly, time-consuming border checks that would hamper business.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Mrs May's effective deputy prime minister David Lidington and Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley will attend a summit on the Isle of Man on Friday.

The European plan would leave Northern Ireland tied to the single market and customs union if Brexit talks collapse.

A senior UK Government source said that reports in the European media that a deal could come in the next few days should be taken "with a very large pinch of salt".

Sam Lowe, from the Centre for European Reform, said the acceptance of a backstop is good news for withdrawal negotiations but agreed it will cause tensions between the prime minister and the DUP.

But he rejected the idea Britain could unilaterally end the arrangement, something Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab and other eurosceptics in May's Conservative party want.

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