Published: Sat, November 10, 2018

Brexit deal possible within weeks - Taoiseach

Brexit deal possible within weeks - Taoiseach

The Dup claim that according to the letter of the Prime Minister may, she is preparing to break the promise before the party, worrying that it would vote against the deal on Brexit in Parliament.

"I must caution that there is high level of uncertainty when you are making any projections in relation to Brexit", he said.

The scope of any alignment with Brussels' rules would be limited to what is "strictly necessary" to avoid a hard border.

Theresa May will dismiss claims that she has capitulated on the "backstop to the backstop" but it seems clear, based on the contents of her five-page letter to the Democratic Unionist Party, revealed yesterday by The Times, that she is willing to concede on pretty much all the European Union has asked for.

Asked about Mrs May's letter, he said both the prime minister and the DUP are "very much able to speak for themselves".

But DUP leaders said on Friday that May's wording meant the fix would still be included in the withdrawal agreement that London and Brussels hope to reach in the coming days.

But she acknowledged that the "unique circumstances" of Northern Ireland "could require specific alignment solutions in some scenarios" on regulations.

Tensions between Mrs May and her DUP allies have been exposed amid concerns about measures aimed at avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland.

In the five-page letter to Arlene Foster, the DUP leader, and Nigel Dodds, her deputy, Mrs May said the European Union is still pushing for the "backstop to the backstop" but insists that she would never allow a divide between Ulster and Great Britain to "come into force".

The DUP MP Sammy Wilson heaped further pressure on the government, telling the BBC Radio 4's Today programme that the letter was sent to the party but was put into the public domain by Downing Street.

The Prime Minister relies on the support of the DUP's 10 MPs for her Commons majority, votes which may become crucial as she attempts to get a deal through Parliament.

Speaking at the British-Irish Council summit in the Isle of Man today, Mr Varadkar said he was hopeful the United Kingdom could strike a deal with Brussels before the end of the year despite continuing concerns over the future of the Irish border.

The UK Government Minister for the Department for Exiting the EU - Robin Walker - was at today's meeting.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Mrs May's effective deputy prime minister David Lidington and Secretary of State Karen Bradley will attend a summit on the Isle of Man on Friday.

"Similarly, I don't think the relationship between Scotland and Ireland has ever been stronger than it is at the moment".

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