Brexit: May heads back to Brussels but European Union not budging

Former Prime Minister of Portugal Jose Manuel Barroso called on the EU to compromise

After talks on the Malthouse plan between Mr Barnier and Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay on Monday, Mr Barclay's Department for Exiting the European Union said: "While the Commission engaged seriously with these proposals, it expressed concerns about their viability to resolve the backstop".

He also rejected the proposal of a backstop with a time limit: "As the PM eloquently explained herself when she was advocating for the backstop - an insurance policy that can be cancelled at the time when you most need it, is not an insurance policy at all".

"Unfortunately not all of the FTAs - and I might mention the Japan and Korean ones that are important - are expected to be concluded in time", Clark told executives and journalists on Tuesday at the annual conference of the MakeUK manufacturing lobby group.

United States tariffs on imports of European cars could mean that Europe would buy less soya beans and liquid gas from the USA, the head of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said on Monday.

The Thalassa Mana cargo ship left Felixstowe on Monday and is scheduled to arrive in Osaka, Japan, on March 30, one day after Britain is set to leave the EU.

"We can get this deal through parliament, if we can have a deal where the attorney general can change his advice to parliament". "We will have friendly talks tomorrow but I don't expect a breakthrough".

Britain is scrambling to arrange around 40 existing trade deals that have been agreed under the umbrella of the European Union before the official Brexit date of March 29.

The Prime Minister has reportedly been urged to stop using the threat of a no-deal Brexit as a negotiating tactic.

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At Tuesday's Cabinet meeting, ministers were being briefed by Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay on his latest talks with Brussels as intensive efforts continue to resolve the deadlock over the Northern Ireland backstop.

"There is a process of engagement going on".

May wants to change the deal's phrasing to make sure that a provision to ensure an open Irish border after Brexit would only apply temporarily.

The EU says the backstop is essential for peace on the island of Ireland.

The Malthouse Compromise, championed by Conservative lawmakers from the party's pro- and anti-EU wings, seeks to use technology to replace the backstop, an insurance policy created to stop a return to a hard border between EU-member Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK.

Eurosceptic lawmakers said Malthouse was "alive and kicking" after meeting May on Tuesday.

"The EU 27 will not reopen the withdrawal agreement".

European Union and United Kingdom sources said London could accept other guarantees on the backstop and the bloc is proposing turning the assurances and clarifications it has already given Britain on the issue in December and January into legally binding documents.

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