United Kingdom might need to seek a short extension to Brexit transition: May

Mr Raab said 'the end is in sight in terms of a good deal'

Mr Raab said 'the end is in sight in terms of a good deal'

Conservative MPs fear this will lead to Britain being trapped in the EU's customs territory for years to come, unable to sign new free trade deals.

As May said in her speech, she rejects the EU proposal for Northern Ireland to remain in a customs union with the bloc, as that could make trade with the rest of Britain more hard, something that is opposed by the Pro-Brexit Northern Irish party DUP that has propped up her minority Conservative government.

"The EU still requires a "backstop to the backstop" - effectively an insurance policy for the insurance policy".

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With just over five months until Britain is scheduled to exit the European Union, talks have stalled over a disagreement on the so-called Northern Irish "backstop", an insurance policy to ensure there will be no return to a hard border on the island of Ireland if a future trading relationship is not agreed in time.

Theresa May rejected it.

SNP leader in the Commons Ian Blackford said the prime minister was "humiliated and hamstrung by the extreme Brexiteers in her own party", who were "holding the United Kingdom to ransom (and) leading us all to the brink of a catastrophic no deal".

Northern Ireland secretary Karen Bradley.

"Taking all of this together, 95 per cent of the Withdrawal Agreement and its protocols are now settled", she said.

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UK’s Theresa May says Brexit transition period could grow, draws ire
But even an extension would not get rid of the EU's insistence that such a backstop must be agreed to secure a deal. The two-day European Council summit was expected to be a "moment of truth" for both sides reaching agreement.

A backstop proposal could not be time limited as it would not be a backstop. This, Tannock said, is because they believe this would create the ample conditions for a fresh referendum, which included the option of Britain remaining in the EU. Under this both Northern Ireland and the mainland would remain within an effective European Union customs area, avoiding a "hard border" that risks reviving violence in the north against British rule.

"There are two communities in Northern Ireland, and much of what the European Union has put forward in terms of suggestions around the backstop are not acceptable to the Unionist community in Northern Ireland, and they aren't acceptable to the British Government, so that's why we are working to find a backstop that works for everyone".

Veterinary checks are already conducted on 10 percent of livestock transported to Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK, Barnier said.

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.

Opposition Labour MP Yvette Cooper said it was "dehumanising" and "normalising violence in public debate", noting the 2016 murder of her colleague Jo Cox by a far-right sympathiser.

While Downing Street may be briefing something different at this stage, May's words do not amount to an insistence that the EU's proposal should disappear from the legal text. Brussels is now considering this but has not been prepared to accept the proposal so far.

Mr Raab suggested a transition extension could run for three months, but said the move would have to "solve" the Irish backstop issue.

"The shape of the deal across the vast majority of the withdrawal agreement is now clear", she said.

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