Theresa May: 95 per cent of Brexit agreed

Theresa May

The thorny issue has been a major stumbling bloc in the Brexit talks, with negotiators at loggerheads over how best to avoid checks at the border after the United Kingdom leaves the EU.

Mrs May will today discuss Brexit negotiations with her Cabinet, where ministers are expected to warn that there must be a time-limit on any customs backstop amid concerns it could.

May also came in for criticism from within her own party, where a small but vocal pro-EU movement has been building amid claims the Prime Minister has been pushed to the right in negotiations by hard Brexiteers.

Last week, May indicated she could accept extending the transition period in which the United Kingdom would remain subject to the customs union and single market beyond December 2020 in an attempt to reach a free-trade agreement that would prevent the backstop being used.

Meanwhile, Ireland's Ambassador to the UK, Adrian O'Neill, said there was no mention of a time limit on the backstop protocol in either the agreement reached last December or in March when Theresa May wrote to Donald Tusk committing to a legally operable backstop.

"Both the European Union and United Kingdom are in agreement that our future partnership is the answer to this and will provide the solutions in the long term", she said.

Mrs May told leaders of the remaining European Union member states in Brussels that she was willing to consider extending the transition period by a year.

Organizers handed out postcards for people to write to their local lawmakers demanding a final say on the Brexit deal, rather than relying on Parliament to approve it.

"I would say this is the biggest threat I have seen to science in the United Kingdom in all my life which is now almost 50 years of research", he said.

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Jack Blanchard for Politico writes that divisions over Brexit have turned the party into "a powder keg", with open talks of an imminent vote of no confidence against May, and "the feverish atmosphere led at least one MP to brief Sunday newspapers in, frankly, awful terms".

Under Conservative party rules, 48 MPs (equivalent to 15% of the party's MPs) can trigger a leadership poll.

They argued that technological solutions were available that could avoid a hard border in Ireland.

Prior to May's statement, ostensibly an update on a meeting in Brussels the previous week where little progress on Brexit was publicly reported, Brexit secretary Dominic Raab had delivered more bad news to lawmakers.

European Union negotiators are looking at ways to promise Britain a customs deal that could stretch Brussels' Brexit red lines but might break a deadlock over the Irish border, EU sources close to the talks have told Reuters.

Since then, Mrs May's proposal to extend the transition period has done little to calm anger among eurosceptics in the governing Conservative Party, who fear she is leading Britain into a deal that will make Britain a "vassal state" - unable ever to leave the EU.

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.

Downing Street told CNN it would not be commenting on Mercer's interview.

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