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Brexit LIVE: Negotiations RAMPED UP as ‘intense’ talks begin in Boris’ final push for deal

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Daily Express :: Politics Feed 

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British and EU officials will begin to take a closer look at Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s proposal to solve the controversial Irish backstop, in what is seen as the last chance to reach an agreement ahead next week’s final EU summit before the October 31 deadline. Downing Street and Brussels have remained tight-lipped about the details of any potential agreement after an initial breakthrough following talks between Mr Johnson and Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar. On Friday the EU reiterated its commitment to honouring its red lines on preventing a hard border on the island of Ireland after “constructive” talks between Mr Barnier and Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay.

In a statement, the EU insisted any solution to the backstop must be “legally operative” and opposes Northern Ireland leaving the customs union with the rest of the UK.

However, Sky News understands Mr Johnson plan involves Northern Ireland still being subject to EU tariffs despite leaving the customs union.

Following talks in Brussels the Prime Minister was adamant he would not accept any arrangement which damaged the ability of “the whole of the United Kingdom” to take full advantage of Brexit, including any new trade deals struck with countries around the world.

Mr Johnson said: “Under no circumstances will we see anything that damages the ability of the whole of the United Kingdom to take full advantage of Brexit.”

Mr Johnson said he could see a “pathway to a deal, but that doesn’t mean it is a done deal”.

DUP leader Arlene Foster fired a warning to the Prime Minister and stated its 10 MPs in Westminster could not agree to any deal that “traps” Northern Ireland within the blocs trading rules.

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Ms Foster said: “We have been consistent in our opposition to the backstop, whether UK or Northern Ireland only.

“Anything that traps Northern Ireland in the European Union, whether single market or customs union, as the rest of the United Kingdom leaves will not have our support. The prime minister is very mindful of that.”

Brexit LIVE: Negotiations RAMPED UP as ‘intense’ talks begin in Boris’ final push for deal

British and EU officials will begin to take a closer look at Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s proposal to solve the controversial Irish backstop, in what is seen as the last chance to reach an agreement ahead next week’s final EU summit before the October 31 deadline.

British and EU officials will begin to take a closer look at Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s proposal to solve the controversial Irish backstop, in what is seen as the last chance to reach an agreement ahead next week’s final EU summit before the October 31 deadline.

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