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PM's headache as Brexiteers raise concern over Irish border plans

PM's headache as Brexiteers raise concern over Irish border plans

The document also states the United Kingdom will be able to "negotiate, sign and ratify" free trade agreements with non-EU countries while the backstop is in place.

However, she agreed to the principle of this special "backstop" deal for Northern Ireland, insisting a better solution would be found once a broader EU-UK trade deal is done.

"There is still an urgent need for clarity on non-customs checks, which account for three quarters of border stoppages".

He told MPs that a technology-based system - dubbed the "max fac" solution - would cost businesses a similar amount to leaving the European Union with no deal.

May's Conservative government is split between ministers who favor a clean-break "hard Brexit" - leaving Britain freer to strike new trade deals around the world - and those who want to keep closely aligned to the EU, Britain's biggest trading partner. It stated that the aim of the future trade negotiations would be to address the challenge of the Irish border through the overall EU-UK relationship.

At a news conference, Mr Davis said "if there's agreement" the Irish backstop plans would be published.

The Brexit Secretary is set to return to Brussels next week for talks with the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier. The UK would also be bound by some parts of the EU's Common Commercial Policy (CCP), meaning it would be required to apply the EU's common external tariff (CET) and Union Customs Code at the UK border.

He said the European Union has drawn up its negotiating stance by taking careful account of Britain's demands.

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Labour Party Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer acknowledged that "there are very divided views" among the opposition party's lawmakers over whether Britain should try to remain in the EU's single market.

Nevertheless, Barnier said he was not rejecting the proposal outright.

Less than half of all people in Northern Ireland consider themselves British, according to a new survey. The DUP leader, Arlene Foster, said in early June that she would withdraw her support to May's government "if Northern Ireland was treated differently from the rest of the UK" after Brexit.

The meeting with Mr Davis, running to more than 30 minutes, was the longest.

Lord Malloch-Brown, a former United Nations deputy secretary general, said the "chronic uncertainty" surrounding Brexit talks was harming business and it was "time to settle this once and for all".

Under the customs union, EU member states trade freely with each other and charge the same duties on imports from outside the bloc.

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Pro-Brexit campaign group Leave.EU have attacked Lord Malloch-Brown as a "puppet for George Soros" and chief "Remoaner", while another group, Leave Means Leave, has launched a fundraising drive among supporters to "secure the swift, clean Brexit you all voted for".