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Brexit deal: hard days ahead as DUP says 'no'
05 December 2017, 02:03 | Floyd Cook
Mr Juncker said the meeting was"friendly and constructive
Key divisions remain on the issues of the Irish border and the rights of European Union citizens living in the UK.
At around midday, the pound hit a day's high of 1.3523 against the dollar after news emerged that Westminster will concede on European Union trade rules for Northern Ireland.
Theresa May's attempts to make a major breakthrough in the Brexit negotiations were scuppered at the last minute by a furious Democratic Unionist Party amid concerns around the Northern Irish border.
But they added: "A deal is sought, but it all turns on Ireland, and if the Irish government gives Barnier the green light".
The UK government has repeatedly insisted many of these questions can not be answered until the next stage of Brexit talks - on a transition period and a future EU-UK trading and customs relationship - is allowed to begin.
Mr Rees-Mogg, a prominent Brexiteer who has been talked about as a future Conservative leader, said the prime minister could not agree to different regulatory systems in Northern Ireland and the rest of the EU.
It appeared that the DUP's refusal to accept compromise language on the future of Irish border, under which the United Kingdom would commit to "continued regulatory alignment" to ensure a hard border would not return, was a hurdle too far.
Donald Tusk, the EU summit chair, tweeted ebulliently after speaking to Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar that there was progress on the Irish issue to unblock UK-EU trade talks: "Tell me why I like Mondays!" the former Polish premier wrote.
The Prime Minister is reliant on any support from the party as the DUP is propping up her government with its 10 MPs.
"We will not accept any form of regulatory divergence which separates Northern Ireland economically or politically from the rest of the United Kingdom", she said.
Negotiations could possibly go on until Wednesday when Barnier will brief European Union commissioners about the progress and make a formal recommendation on whether "sufficient progress" has been achieved for the next phase of talks to be unlocked.
She said: "There are a couple of issues, some differences do remain which require further negotiation and consultation". "Getting closer to sufficient progress at December (EU summit)".
But that task has been complicated by the DUP's show of strength, the publication of the sensitive wording from the draft negotiating text and Leo Varadkar's public insistence that the British government had signed up to a formula which the DUP found so hard to swallow.
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