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Cabinet convenes as negotiators agree EU withdrawal text

By Oliver Haill

Date: Tuesday 13 Nov 2018

Cabinet convenes as negotiators agree EU withdrawal text

(Sharecast News) - Theresa May's cabinet will meet on Wednesday after British and EU negotiators agreed the text for a UK-wide customs arrangement that could will form part of a Brexit withdrawal agreement, according to reports on Tuesday afternoon.
A text has been agreed upon and presented to Downing Street that would avoid a hard Northern Irish border post-Brexit Ireland, Irish broadcaster RTE reported.

As part of a proposed UK-wide customs agreement, there would be one overall backstop to avoid a hard land border on Ireland, with "deeper" provisions for Northern Ireland on the customs and regulatory side, said RTE's Europe editor Tony Connelly on Twitter.

Members of Prime Minister Theresa May's cabinet confirmed that one to one meetings were being arranged tonight and a meeting had been convened for Wednesday for potential approval of the draft EU withdrawal agreement.

Meanwhile, in Brussels, ambassadors for the remaining 27 member states of the EU meet tomorrow evening, while a general affairs council had been scheduled for EU27 ministers on Monday, the BBC's Brussels correspondent Adam Fleming noted.

The pound vaulted up to a seven-month high against the euro, up 0.7% to 1.1548, and shot up 1.5% against the dollar to 1.3036 by 1700 GMT.

Earlier on Tuesday, Cabinet Office minister David Lidington, Prime Minister Theresa May's deputy, said he was "cautiously optimistic" that a deal would be struck within the next 24-to-48 hours. In an interview with the BBC, he said: "We are not quite there yet. We are almost within touching distance now. The PM has said it can't be a deal at any price."

On Monday, May said the talks were now "in the endgame" and EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier told EU ministers that the main points of a Brexit deal were ready to present to the UK cabinet on Tuesday for approval before leaders on both sides of the Channel meet at a crucial summit later this month.


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