No Brexit deal scenario is a "serious possibility"

Theresa May

Theresa May. REUTERS Dylan Martinez

Mr Fysh said it is not "beyond the wit of man" to come up with a solution to the Irish border issue that would result in Britain not remaining in the EU's customs union.

The agreement was to retain the current status quo of a customs union in Northern Ireland, effectively shifting the United Kingdom border for trade purposes to the Irish channel.

In particular these rules govern the regulation of agrifood products, animal health, food and plant safety.

The former head of Unilever, Niall FitzGerald is of the opinion that Ireland is perfectly positioned to become a global center for research and academia in the post-Brexit world, according to a report published by The Irish Times.

"It is also a fundamental breach of the Good Friday Agreement which clearly provides for a referendum - Theresa May has no right to deny democratic entitlements to the people of Ireland, north and south".

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May reportedly received a cautious response to her new proposals from European Council president Donald Tusk.

The so-called Brexit "war Cabinet" of 11 senior ministers met for more than 90 minutes in its latest attempt to come to an agreement on a "customs partnership or "maximum facilitation".

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It is "an opportunity to set out clearly to both a domestic and an European Union audience the reasoning behind our approach", Brexit Minister David Davis said.

Speaking in the Bulgarian capital ahead of that meeting, the Taoiseach said: "By June, we need to see substantial progress - as the Tánaiste and myself have seen on many occasions. If we don't see that in June, then we have to ask serious questions as to whether a withdrawal agreement in October will be possible at all", Varadkar said.

Meanwhile, the British cabinet continues to clash over the options open for a Northern Ireland-only agreement with the EU.

The Irish "backstop", or guarantee of no hard border, finds its genesis in paragraph 49.

"Fixing lots of reciprocal arrangements would put some welly behind the government's claims to want a very close continuing relationship with European Union members after Brexit, and it would be welcomed by the university sector as better than some alternatives", he said.

Number 10 sources insisted "there was not a proposal discussed or agreed that would see us staying in the customs union beyond the implementation period", which is due to expire at the end of 2020.

For the EU, remaining in the customs union but leaving the single market will not allow for frictionless trade because border checks would still be required to deal with issues such as phytosanitary standards.

Earlier this week, the British government promised to produce a 100-page white paper on the future trading relationship. "But it's one thing to be welcoming".

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