Theresa May insists Brexit deal remains achievable

Any Brexit deal will still face the hurdle of a Commons vote

Any Brexit deal will still face the hurdle of a Commons vote

"It's always the case with negotiations, that in the end there are challenges", Kurz said.

The EU made clear there had not been sufficient progress to trigger the expected "special" summit in November to finalise a deal.

He said: "We are not there yet".

The St Austell and Newquay MP said: "The tourism and hospitality sector is very concerned that they will be able to continue to access the seasonal workforce they need once we leave the EU".

Dublin sees merit in a longer transition, possibly facilitating a temporary customs union which would allow Theresa May to argue, perhaps convincingly, that the backstop would never be needed.

However, there was little enthusiasm for the idea in London, with British Government sources insisting Downing Street was not looking for an extension to transition arrangements.

May's allies, the Northern Irish Democratic Union Party (DUP), has threatened to vote against a planned British budget if May agrees to something with the EU that would create more differences and barriers to the existing ones between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

"She said we will keep under consideration the issue of the transition period but she did not say anything in favour or against the three-year period".

European Union officials hope once the budget vote is out of the way at the end of October, May could agree to a Brexit deal.

Leaders of the EU27 will discuss how to step up preparations for a no-deal Brexit next March at their working dinner in Mrs May's absence, following her presentation, he said. "That would backfire spectacularly".

The call from European Council president Donald Tusk came as Mrs May urged her Cabinet to "stand together and stand firm" on Brexit, after negotiations stalled in the run-up to a crucial summit.

Before the summit, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel issued a stern warning that Europe must be prepared for a no-deal Brexit, while France has also stepped up its planning for the potentially catastrophic scenario.

The UK has said the transition period, dependent on an overall deal being agreed, is necessary to stop a "cliff-edge" for business and give the two sides time to agree their future relationship.

Dalia Grybauskaitė, the president of Lithuania, warned that the talks were being set back by the disunity in May's cabinet.

"We do not know what they want, they do not know themselves what they really want - that's the problem".

Mrs May, meanwhile, has said her Chequers plan is the only option, threatening a general election if it fails and claiming "no deal" is better than a Canada-style deal. "There is still time for the drama to play". Well, the issue here is all about sentiment and more specifically, deadlines. Westminster rises on December 20 for Christmas.

"That is not a meaningful vote".

Juncker will brief leaders on the commission's work done on preparedness, and there could be a decision to turn the planned November Brexit summit into a "no-deal" summit, where leaders focus on preparations for the United Kingdom crashing out of the bloc.

It emerged Dominic Raab had written to MPs, warning them that any Commons debates and votes should not "undermine" the final piece of Brexit legislation that implemented the deal.

"She clearly doesn't think she can win a straight vote in parliament without fixing the rules".

Last night, it was suggested amendments would only be taken if the main Brexit motion was passed.

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