High probability of a Brexit deal with European Union, says David Davis

Mr Davis with Middletown Centre for Autism chief executive Gary Cooper

Mr Davis with Middletown Centre for Autism chief executive Gary Cooper

"The government will respect votes it brings to the House", he said.

"If a meaningful amendment is to be on the table and the government is to respect that amendment, which by definition is what makes it meaningful, a very meaningful amendment would be that we want to have a deal with the European Union but we don't think the deal government has brought back from Brussels is satisfactory and we therefore instruct government to go back and get another deal".

The UK's parliament will vote on an official exit treaty at a later date, at which point it will have the power to veto any such agreement.

Yet, while Mrs May has done well to maintain the Government's equilibrium so far, this week's meeting of a key Cabinet committee - and forthcoming votes in Parliament - are likely to force the Prime Minister's hand.

The move would put pressure on pro-EU MPs to fall in behind Mrs May to avoid setting in train a chain of events which could result in the government falling.

The Prime Minister visited the Shropshire Star's sister paper the Express & Star at its Queen Street offices in Wolverhampton as part of a visit to the region, which also saw her stop off at Dudley firm Boss Design and meet Tory campaigners.

Speaking this morning the Brexit secretary gave Remain MPs a lifeline by suggesting the Article 50 process could be extended - but only if it was agreed by every parliament in the European Union.

The main topic will be a discussion of the U.K.'s aims for worldwide trade after Brexit, according to the official, and will nearly certainly involve consideration of the customs deal the country will seek to reach with the bloc.

By keeping us in the customs union, would deny us the right to strike trade deals with countries queueing up to do so, so it's hard to fathom their thinking.

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Davis's comments are the latest in a series of hints that there's some flexibility and movement in the government's position on the customs union.

European Union leaders are due to assess progress on the border issue when they meet at the end of June.

Mr Davis said he would always "try and make myself available", but blamed the fact he was working at "the maximum pace" possible with Brexit negotiations ongoing and the government's flagship Withdrawal Bill facing a rough ride in the House of Lords.

"So we want to come out of the customs union". Such trade deals with third countries can take a long time to negotiate and end up mired in litigation, while measures short of formal FTAs can still deliver significant benefits, one person said.

'But I also recognise the importance to businesses like this of being able to have as frictionless a border as possible into the European Union'.

An opposition-backed amendment to the legislation, on which the government suffered two defeats last week, was backed by 316 to 245, a majority of 71.

Ten Conservative peers voted against the government, including former deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine and the former ministers Lord Patten of Barnes, Lord Willetts and Lord Deben.

He said: "This Bill should not be used as an excuse to reduce the legal rights which we all enjoy against the state".

Arguing against the amendment, Lord (Richard) Keen said by retaining the charter, Britain would be opening up to being influenced by "foreign law" that could to lead to "constitutional outrage".

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