MA "seriously concerned" about impact of No Deal Brexit

Government Ministers Meet For Their Weekly Cabinet Meeting

Government Ministers Meet For Their Weekly Cabinet Meeting

In her efforts to break the impasse over her Brexit deal, May signalled she will seek changes rather than outright removing the backstop, which is created to preserve the open border between Northern Ireland and European Union member state Ireland.

Downing Street insiders say Mrs May is braced for a flat refusal to her request from European President Jean-Claude Juncker, EU Council President Donald Tusk and other EU figures today.

A divorce deal between Britain and the European Union is in danger because U.K lawmakers have rejected a section of the agreement meant to ensure there is no hard border between the U.K.'s Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland.

May's office said she plans to travel to Northern Ireland on Tuesday to meet business leaders and make a speech underscoring the government's commitment to avoiding a hard border.

The Social Democratic and Labour party, Alliance party, Sinn Féin and the Green party all support the backstop and as a recent LucidTalk poll highlighted, with 65 per cent of people in Northern Ireland wanting to be "closely tied to the EU, inside the single market and the customs union", even if the rest of the United Kingdom had a looser arrangement.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar held a press conference with Mr. Tusk in Brussels, where both leaders addressed the ongoing Brexit negotiations.

On Wednesday, May discussed putting a time limit on the so-called Irish border backstop in talks with Northern Ireland's Ulster Unionist Party, the party's leader said Wednesday.

"I hope that tomorrow we will hear from Prime Minister May a realistic suggestion on how to end the impasse", Tusk said.

NI Secretary Karen Bradley, whose responsibility it is to call a border poll, said on Wednesday that it was not "in any way sustainable" to believe that most people in Northern Ireland supported a united Ireland because a majority voted for Remain in the Brexit referendum.

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Britain is scheduled to leave the European Union on March 29, but no withdrawal agreement has been approved because Britain's Parliament has voted down May's plan, in part because of concerns about the hard border issues.

The EU is looking to protect its single market and has said the backstop would only be a temporary arrangement.

Apparently stung by the criticism, May insisted that she would not in fact dump the "insurance policy" and even suggested that she may not go ahead with a hi-tech trade monitoring scheme proposed by Brexiteer Tory MPs.

HM Revenue and Customs (HRMC) said it had put in place transitional procedures for importing goods from the European Union through 20 British ports and the Channel Tunnel, which it would review three to six months after March 29.

Critics say if May manages to remove or drastically modify the so-called backstop, she would certainly go through the parliament with the agreement she signed with the European Union in November.

The EU will not renegotiate the divorce deal and the Irish backstop but alternatives could be worked on after Britain leaves, chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier said on Monday.

Mrs May is now seeking new tweaks to the negotiated deal which was voted down by the House of Commons last month.

"From a political point of view, there is still time", Merkel said.

May, on a visit to Belfast on Tuesday, tried to reassure Northern Ireland that she can deliver an orderly Brexit that will ensure peace in a province riven by three decades of sectarian conflict until a 1998 accord.

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