European Union says there has been ‘no breakthrough’ in Brexit talks

Theresa May looking isolated in Salzburg

"When we come back with a deal, I would hope that everybody across this whole House will put the national interest first", May said on Thursday, in an appeal for unity.

In addition, Northern Ireland would remain under large parts of single market regulations, requiring enhanced checks on products arriving from Britain, particularly agricultural goods.

On Thursday morning, Mrs May's official spokesman told journalists that "big issues" still remained to be resolved between the United Kingdom and Brussels, which included the backstop and issues such as geographic indicators for goods.

Mrs Clinton made her remarks during a visit to Queen's University, where she collected an honorary degree for her "considerable contribution to the Northern Ireland peace process".

The best of both worlds narrative is part of a fresh offensive by the European Union to try to avert a no deal by appealing directly to the hearts and minds of Northern Ireland interests.

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) is the other big issue for the prime minister, who relies on the Northern Irish party's votes to give her a notional majority in parliament.

The Northern Ireland Retail Consortium (NIRC), which was also at the meeting, said the deal on the table was uniquely beneficial to Northern Ireland's economy, which would suffer disproportionately from Brexit. If I was her, I would say: 'Tell me what your solution is.' And I'll suspect they'll say to her: 'No, you go work out the solution, ' which is a little unreasonable really.

However, Mrs Foster said the EU's proposals would place "an effective one-way turnstile" between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.




With the negotiations coming to a head, the central focus of the discussions is thought to have been the issue of the Northern Ireland "backstop" meant to ensure there is not return of a "hard border" with the Republic. Instead, as Newsnight's Nick Watt reported last night, there's a new plan to insert a "review clause" for the backstop, rather than an end-date, into the UK's withdrawal agreement.

Barnier described how the EU's backstop proposal would organise customs and Value-Added Tax, regulatory and sanitary checks between the United Kingdom and the EU.

"What de-dramatisation tries to do is to recognise the nature and type of trade that happens between GB and NI, and to find ways of minimising any checks and controls that would need to be put on that trade", one source told RTÉ.

Just six months before Britain is due to leave the European Union, some other British officials have voiced more caution, saying "big issues" still lie in the way of any agreement.

Port of Larne is a subsidiary of P&O Ferries.

"Intensive technical negotiations are continuing to see if we can reach the decisive progress we were referring to yesterday".

The rows come with just days until her crucial summit with European Union leaders dubbed a "moment of truth" by the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier. He said customs declarations could be done online in advance.

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