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Brexit deal will be agreed within three weeks, Dominic Raab tells MPs

A Brexit deal will likely be agreed with the EU inside three weeks, Dominic Raab has predicted – regardless of the obvious stalemate within the negotiations.

The Brexit secretary advised MPs the talks had been heading in the right direction to attain a breakthrough by 21 November, insisting: “The tip is now firmly in sight.”

In a letter to the Brexit committee, Mr Raab wrote: “Whereas obstacles stay, it can’t be past us to navigate them.

“Now we have resolved a lot of the points and we’re build up collectively what the longer term relationship ought to seem like and making actual progress.”

And, in an important sentence, he added: “I might be completely happy to offer proof to the committee when a deal is finalised, and presently count on 21 November to be appropriate.”

Nevertheless, Theresa May’s spokesman refused – a number of instances – to endorse her minister’s view that the talks had been poised to obtain success, regardless of the failure to strike a deal on the EU summit this month.

“Now we have all the time stated wish to conclude the method as quickly as doable,” he stated, declining to say that may occur in November.

The Brexit appeared deadlocked after the EU rejected Theresa Might’s insistence that the “backstop” – to forestall Irish border checks – should maintain all the UK, reasonably than merely Northern Eire, within the EU customized’s territory.

Cupboard ministers have additionally threatened to resign except there’s a time restrict on the backstop, fearing the UK will in any other case be locked into EU guidelines completely.

And the prime minister additionally faces a menace by the Democratic Unionist Party to finish its propping up of the Tories in energy if she permits new regulatory checks between Britain and Northern Eire.

In his letter, despatched final week however solely revealed at present, Mr Raab didn’t go into any element concerning the negotiations, which solely resumed between officers this week.

However he stated the UK and the EU now “agree on the precept of a UK-wide customs backstop” – though the 2 sides had nonetheless appeared far aside on the controversy.

The EU has stated it’s prepared to make a authorized dedication to exploring a UK-wide customs backstop, however argued there isn’t a time to agree the small print earlier than Brexit day.

Due to this fact, it could seem solely in an annex to the withdrawal settlement – which should nonetheless include the UK’s authorized dedication to a Northern Eire-only model, as the last word assure of no return to a onerous border.


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