European Union says Brexit deal ‘within reach’ but work remains | Lexington Herald Leader

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Former Brexit secretary David Davis warned on Tuesday of "dire" consequences for Conservatives at the next general election if the Government sticks to its negotiating stance on European Union withdrawal.

The UK and the European Union have yet to strike a deal on how Brexit will work, with less than six months to go before the UK leaves on 29 March. "Yet this backstop inevitably means Chequers, staying in both, no say in either, and no right to escape".

Speaking after meeting with the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier, she illustrated what the DUP were opposing by saying an attempt to avoid a hard border with the Irish Republic could mean more regulatory checks on goods travelling between GB and NI.

He also told MPs that the United Kingdom would not remain tied to the EU's customs union indefinitely - an attempt to reassure Tory Brexiteers who have warned they have the numbers to vote down any final Brexit deal that they do not agree with.

Mr Davis said that if a deal of this kind is struck, it will be "very obvious" to voters at the next general election that the Government had broken promises from the 2017 Conservative manifesto and the Prime Minister's Lancaster House speech setting out her Brexit "red lines".

"The October council next week of course will be an important milestone - we expect that to be a moment where we will make some progress", Raab told parliament when asked why he was no longer suggesting there could be a deal at the meeting.

A lawmaker, Steve Baker, told BBC radio that there are possibilities for the 40 lawmakers to vote down the Brexit if it leaves the United Kingdom "half in and half out" of the EU.

Earlier Mrs Foster tweeted an image from her meeting with Mr Barnier, emphasising that she will not tolerate any form of barrier between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

Downing Street insisted that defeat on the budget would not amount to a vote of no confidence in the Government under the terms of the legislation which provides for fixed-term, five-year parliaments.

- Will the Government publish fresh proposals for dealing with the Irish border issue this week?

Around 30 to 40 lawmakers from the opposition Labour Party would be prepared to back a Brexit deal that British Prime Minister Theresa May is trying to strike with the European Union, The Times newspaper reported, citing unidentified lawmakers.

It was Mrs May's first appearance in the Commons since last month's Salzburg summit, when European Union leaders told her that her Chequers blueprint for Brexit would not work.

Avramopoulos also said the bloc's no-deal contingency plans on security were driven by "goodwill", stressing the bloc would want to continue cooperating with Britain closely, including on sharing intelligence.

He told Tory Brexiteers their calls for a Canada-style trade deal would be a "shortcut to no deal".

The former chancellor said that would reveal the "hardline Eurosceptic views" of the "Bennites" in the Labour leadership and the "right-wing nationalists" on the Tory benches were in the minority in the Commons.

His letter came just hours after International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt refused to give her explicit backing to Mrs May's Chequers blueprint, adding further pressure on the Prime Minister.