No Brexit deal worst-case scenario for Britain

No Brexit deal worst-case scenario for Britain

Mr Juncker said he will recommend that negotiations be broadened to future relations and trade.

An early morning meeting in Brussels between Juncker and British Prime Minister Theresa May, whose efforts to reach a deal broke down in failure earlier this week, was also a possibility, Juncker's spokesman said.

Sterling rose while the euro edged down on Friday as British, Irish and European Union officials finally clinched a deal to unlock the current Brexit impasse.

British Prime Minister Theresa May failed to agree a deal to open talks on a Brexit trade deal with the European Union on December 4 as the Democratic Unionist Party objected to proposals to keep EU rules in Northern Ireland.

"We are making progress but we are not yet fully there", a spokesperson for European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker told The Financial Times.

Yesterday the Commission's spokesman Margaritis Schinas indicated that window could be pushed - albeit slightly - as there was no "white smoke" on the deal yet.

It followed talks which continued into the early hours between the Prime Minister and Democratic Unionist Party, Arlene Foster, whose party scuppered a deal at the eleventh hour on Monday.

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"As the PM set out. we think we are close to an agreement but there is more work to be done".

Barnier informed European Union ambassadors that Downing Street had told him a potential solution was being worked out that could possibly satisfy both Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Ireland, but that it had yet to be signed off by any of those involved, the Guardian reported on Thursday.

Despite scepticism in Brussels over the tight timetable, May and her chief negotiator David Davis have been clear they want to have a full post-Brexit free trade deal sealed by the time Britain leaves.

On Monday, the DUP - whose support the United Kingdom prime minister needs to win key votes in Westminster - objected to draft plans drawn up by the United Kingdom and the EU.

A spokesperson for Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: "We achieved all our goals in phase 1 of the negotiations, including preserving the CTA (Common Trade Area), protecting the GFA (Good Friday Agreement) and, crucially, obtaining a guarantee that there will be no hard border".

She must also convince her divided Conservative Party that the deal she makes is acceptable.

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