DUP leader says just as firm as Irish government on Brexit

DUP leader says just as firm as Irish government on Brexit

Amid signals Britain could seek "regulatory alignment" with the European Union to ensure there does not need to be a hard border, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson insisted any Brexit deal must mean "taking back control of our laws, of our borders and of our cash". Everyone recognises that there are special circumstances that apply in Northern Ireland and that everything must be done to avoid a return to the borders of the past, but the deal that was on the table earlier this week was a failure of logic, diplomacy, and political common sense.

Schinas dismissed British newspaper reports that the deadline could be extended into next week as "not correct."Diplomats from the other EU 27 nations are to meet on Monday and would need to see European Council chief Donald Tusk's draft guidelines for opening the next phase of talks then in order to approve them for the summit, he said.The EU has demanded "sufficient progress" on the divorce issues of the Ireland border with Northern Ireland, Britain's bill for leaving the bloc, and the rights of European citizens in Britain in order to move on to the second stage".

A European Commission spokesman said there was "no white smoke yet" on Brexit negotiations.

But EU sources said it was still possible that European leaders could agree at the summit next week that there had been "sufficient progress", in order to give May a win, while postponing their approval of the guidelines for trade talks.

On BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Jonathan Powell, who was an adviser to Tony Blair during the Northern Ireland peace process, doubted whether a solution could be found.

Juncker told reporters Friday that "I believe that we have now made the breakthrough that we needed".

On Wednesday the Republic of Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said he expected Theresa May to come up with a new wording aimed at satisfying all parties, adding: "I expressed my willingness to consider that".

The MPs included former cabinet ministers Stephen Crabb, Dominic Grieve, Anna Soubry and Nicky Morgan.

The UK is due to leave the European Union at this point because Theresa May formally triggered a two-year countdown to Brexit in March 2017.

Scotland's nationalist leader showed little patience, accusing the British government of being "totally and utterly incompetent" on Brexit.