Brexit deal is 95% done, Prime Minister will tell MPs

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Theresa May says only 5% of the withdrawal agreement is left to negotiate with Brussels.

May's most recent attempt to break the deadlock - her suggestion that the United Kingdom could extend the transition period "for a few months" if the United Kingdom needed more time to solve the Irish border conundrum - was met with fury by Tory MPs, who accused May of unnecessarily delaying Brexit while preparing to hand over more money to the EU.

British Prime Minister is to speak in the House of Commons on Monday in attempt to show that her efforts in Brussels last week yielded results.

British Prime Minister Theresa May sought to scotch a growing rebellion against her Brexit plans on Monday, saying a divorce deal with the European Union is 95 per cent complete and urging fellow lawmakers to "hold our nerve" during the hard last push in negotiations.

Today that remark was condemned by all sides. The EU says it might - and so it wants London to sign a treaty clause that could leave Northern Ireland inside the EU customs space.


While willing to consider extending the UK's transition period beyond 2020, she said this was "not desirable" and would have to end "well before" May 2022.

Currently, every European Union state switches to summertime on the last Sunday of March and then back to winter time on the last Sunday of October, but Brussels is proposing to end this practice.

Lawmakers will probably narrowly pass May's Brexit deal, the United Kingdom ambassador to the USA said on Tuesday, casting an agreement on the divorce terms as better than other outcomes.

Work is continuing on a so-called EU-UK wide shared customs territory proposal, but the EU is insisting that is in addition to - and not instead of - a Northern Ireland backstop. There could also be mechanisms to cooperate on any backstop.

"But to cater for a situation where a future relationship is not in place in time, we accept that an insurance policy is needed for the people of Northern Ireland".


The EU has tried to ramp up assurances that its "Northern Ireland-only" backstop will not be triggered. It would just be a matter of scaling up checks on agricultural imports.

But it also appears that, in order to maintain Northern Ireland's untrammelled access to the United Kingdom market, Downing Street might dispense with checks going from west to east across the Irish Sea, albeit they would be in force on goods going the other way.

May was said to have reacted angrily to the intervention during the meeting with what was described as her trademark "death stare".

However, the European Union's proposal would involve Northern Ireland temporarily remaining in the EU's custom union.

In Brussels, meanwhile, all mention from the original European Union backstop of a customs territory is being scrubbed from the withdrawal agreement to be replaced with arcane references to regulation No 952/2013, which deals with the rules of the EU's customs territory that would apply to Northern Ireland.


"I do not want to extend the implementation period and I do not believe that extending it will be necessary". The original knot is vanishing before our eyes.

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