BREXIT LIVE: END IN SIGHT? Exit deal could be published on TUESDAY before URGENT EU summit

The Times reported this is according to a draft timetable being discussed in London, with parliament reviewing the agreement on Monday.

It said Dominic Raab will meet Michel Barnier on Tuesday – the same day as the publication of the full Withdrawal Agreement and outline political declaration.

Theresa May will then reportedly make a statement to the House of Commons on Wednesday.

A European Union summit to iron out the final details could be held around November 23-25.

But Downing Street has been quick to reject reports of an imminent breakthrough in Brexit negotiations.

European Commission sources at a summit in Finland were quoted in Austria’s Der Standard newspaper as saying Michel Barnier and Dominic Raab could meet in the next few days to seal an agreement, paving the way for a special summit of EU leaders in Brussels on November 25.

Mr Tusk added to the speculation, and when asked by Channel 4 news on hopes of an imminent breakthrough, he said: “I hope so, but we still need maybe five, maybe six, maybe seven days.

But a senior UK government source warned those reports should be taken “with a very large pinch of salt”.

Brexit Michel Barnier Theresa May

Brexit latest: A deal between the UK and EU could reportedly be published as early as Tuesday (Image: GETTY)

The source added no agreement has yet been reached and no Cabinet meeting scheduled.

He said: “We are still in negotiations, and on that basis we don’t know when and if this will conclude.”

Mrs May recently revealed 95 percent of the Brexit deal has been agreed, but a solution for the Irish border remains the sticking point in talks

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Brexit latest Michel Barnier Dominic Raab

Brexit latest: Dominic Raab could meet Michel Barnier on Tuesday with a Brexit deal reportedly close (Image: GETTY)

9.15pm update: ‘Thank you Boris!’ Spoof posters mocking Russia’s Brexit ‘contribution’ erected in London

A series of spoof billboards “celebrating” Russia’s “contribution” to Brexit have sprung up around London.

Pranksters claiming to be Russian military intelligence agents say they are behind the posters, which feature Boris Johnson and Vladimir Putin and slogans including “let’s celebrate a Red, White and Blue Brexit”.

Questions have been raised over Russian influence during the historic 2016 vote, though the UK has said it found no evidence of interference from Moscow.

The ‘Proud Bear’ group – which says it is a “collective of Russia GRU agents” – today released a statement claiming responsibility for the posters and encouraging viewers to visit a website.

8pm update: Tony Blair promises to STOP Brexit – ‘I will do everything to END it’

Tony Blair has vowed to fight Brexit to the “end” until he puts a stop to Britain’s departure from the European Union.

The former Prime Minister claimed he will do “everything to stop” Brexit, during a speech at the 2018 Web Summit in Lisbon.

He said: “I’m 100 percent against Brexit. By the end, I will do everything to stop it.

“It’s not in our economic or political interest and it’s bad for Europe.”

Brexit Theresa May

Brexit latest: Theresa May could make a huge statement to the Commons on Wednesday (Image: GETTY)

6.30pm update: European Central Bank warns Ireland to prepare for Brexit no-deal

European Central Bank (ECB) chief Mario Draghi has warned Ireland to prepare for all possible Brexit scenarios, including Britain tumbling out of the EU without a deal. 

Speaking at the Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform committee in Dublin, he warned Ireland is more exposed to direct trade effects of a hard Brexit than other countries because of its close trading relationship with Britain. 

Mr Draghi vowed the ECB would stand behind Ireland and support the country as Brexit takes effect. 

He said: “The impact on the Irish economy is both direct through trade and indirect through financial channels,” he said.

“We also see limited overall risks to the euro area financial stability. Without sufficient mitigating action, however, a cliff-edge Brexit could have an adverse impact in certain areas of centrally cleared derivatives markets.

“Sources of risk from outside the EU have grown since May. A stronger US dollar and heightened trade tensions triggered renewed stress in a number of emerging market economies.”

5.30pm update: Britain must keep state aid rules even AFTER Brexit warns Brussels

Brexit Britain must obey the EU’s rules on state aid, environment and workers’ rights after its exit from the bloc, Brussels bosses have demanded.

Diplomatic sources said the move would prevent the UK from gaining unfair access to the Europeans’ single market.

The EU said this was key to ensuring a “level playing field” should the so-called Irish border backstop kick in after Brexit, tying all of the UK in a customs zone with the bloc.

A Brussels source said: “It is important that Britain would not undercut our own products on our own market in the all-UK Irish backstop.”

4.50pm update: ‘Brexit is OVER!’ British MEP launches SCATHING attack on May for BETRAYING voters

Brexiteer Steven Woolfe claimed the dream of a clean Brexit is now “over” as the prospect of a soft Brexit delivered by Theresa May becomes more and more obvious.

Speaking to RT News, the British MEP argued his and other prominent eurosceptics’ warnings over Theresa May’s Brexit approach predicted many months ago the end result would be a “Brexit in name only”.

Mr Woolfe claimed this is the main reason behind May’s Cabinet’s refusal to publish the Attorney General’s Brexit advice in details following urging requests by several Labour MPs and Tory Brexiteers.

He said: “I think the idea of those of us who believe we should leave the European Union in all circumstances is over.

“The reason why they don’t want us to see the legal advice is because it would be there in black and white very clear for all to see that we will have BRINO – Brexit In Name Only.”

brexit news proud bear russia posters london

Brexit latest: The ‘Proud Bear’ group hopes to raise enough to fund a sign in Waterloo Station (Image: PROUDBEAR.RU)

4.30pm update: Pound remains steady following gains, but analyst urge caution

The British currency consolidated gains after a three-day rally, as hopes of an imminent Brexit deal prompted investors to take profits. 

The pound has surged following reports Britain is closing in on a deal with the EU. 

It has risen three percent against the US dollar this week, despite existing disagreements over the Irish border. 

Sterling edged 0.2 percent lower today to trade at $1.3106 – below a two-week high of $1.3176 hit on Wednesday. It was broadly flat against the euro at 87.01 pence.

Antje Praefcke, a currency analyst at Commerzbank, said: “The FX market still seems to be hoping for an amicable agreement, as a glance at volatilities illustrates that it remains quite relaxed as far as March 2019 is concerned.”

But she warned: ”However, I urge caution: there is still resistance within the British cabinet.”

4pm update: Downing Street REJECTS reports of imminent Brexit breakthrough

The government has played down suggestions a Brexit deal is close, after European Council president Donald Tusk appeared to indicate a breakthrough could be made within the next week.

Senior ministers are poised to meet as soon as a deal is ready to be signed off, with speculation over a special Cabinet meeting as early as Saturday or Monday. 

European Commission sources at a summit in Finland were quoted in Austria’s Der Standard newspaper as saying Michel Barnier and Dominic Raab could meet in the next few days to seal an agreement, paving the way for a special summit of EU leaders in Brussels on November 25. 

Mr Tusk added to the specualtion, and when asked by Channel 4 news on hopes of an imminent breakthrough, he said: “I hope so, but we still need maybe five, maybe six, maybe seven days. 

But a senior UK government source warned those reports should be taken “with a very large pinch of salt”.

The source added no agreement has yet been reached and no Cabinet meeting scheduled. 

He said: “We are still in negotiations, and on that basis we don’t know when and if this will conclude.”

3.30pm update: Brexit deal could be published as early as TUESDAY – report

Britain’s Brexit deal with the EU will be published on Tuesday after the cabinet reviews the agreement on Monday. 

This is according to a draft timetable being discussed in London, the The Times said.

It revealed Dominic Raab will meet Michel Barnier on Tuesday – the same day as the publication of the full Withdrawal Agreement and outline political declaration. 

Theresa May will then reportedly make a statement to the House of Commons on Wednesday. 

An EU summit to iron out the final details could be held around November 23-25. 

Brexit Donald Tusk

Brexit latest: Donald Tusk fuelled speculation a deal may be imminent (Image: GETTY)

3pm update: EC downgrades UK economic growth AGAIN – planted to BOTTOM of ranknigs after Brexit

The UK will continue to lag behind other EU countries economically in the years after Brexit, new forecasts from the European Commission have warned. 

Its predictions are based on the assumption of a “benign” result to Brexit talks, with the trading relationship between the UK and EU remaining unchanged.  

The autumn economic forecast, released in Brussels, warned risks to the UK economy from a bad Brexit result are “large and predominantly on the downside”. 

It has downgraded the UK’s GDP growth for 2018 to 1.3 percent from 1.5 percent in the Spring, and redicted it would decline further to 1.2 percent in both 2019 and 2020. 

This means UK growth is forecast to be well below the 2.2 percent forecast for the EU27 in 2018, two percent in 2019 and 1.9 percent in 2020. 

In the years prior to the Brexit vote in 2016, the UK even outstripped the EU for average growth, outperforming the likes of Germany, France and the Netherlands with GDP growth of 2.9 percent in 2014 and 2.3 percent in 2015, compared with 1.6 percent and 2.3 percent for the EU27.

But since the referendum, it has plummeted down the growth rankings, recording 1.8 percent in 2016 and 1.7 percent in 2017 against EU27 averages of 2.1 percent and 2.6 percent.

2.45pm update: Brexit will have big impact on Europe’s economy – candidate to replace Merkel as CDU leader 

Britain’s exit from the EU will have a major impact on continental Europe’s economy, said German conservative Friedrich Merz, who is running to replace Angela Merkel as leader of the CDU party. 

But he doesn’t want the UK to hold another vote on EU membership as a reversal of the decision to leave would create an embittered minority of Brexiteers. 

Speaking during a panel discussion on Europe’s Growth Challenge, hosted by think tank Chatham House, Mr Merz added: “Brexit will happen. Perhaps they will come back one day.”

2.30pm update: Brexit case moves to European Court after appeal bid dismissed 

The European Court will be asked if the UK can unilaterally stop Britain’s exit from the EU  after the UK government was refused an appeal by Scotland’s highest court. 

In September, the Court of Session in Edinburgh ruled to refer the question of whether the UK can unilaterally revoke its Article 50 request to leave the EU to the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) after a case was brought by a cross-party group of politicians. 

A date had been pencilled in for November 27 but the UK government made an applicarion for permission to appeal the ruling to the UK Supreme Court. 

But Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge and Lord President of the Court of Session, has refused the application. The case will continue to the CJEU in the current timescale

Leo Varadkar

Brexit latest: Leo Varadkar wants a level playing field (Image: REUTERS)

2.15pm update: Varoufakis hits out at Brussels attempts to get Theresa May ‘stabbed by comrades’

Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has explained techniques used by the European Union which have been used to try to “diminish” Theresa May’s power in discussions.

He said a key example of the EU trying to damage Theresa May’s power in Brexit negotiations was at the Salzburg summit.

Mr Varoufakis, who has negotiated with the EU during the debt crisis in 2015, also warned his battle was “lost at home” and claimed you cannot prepare for “when your comrades stab you in the back.

Speaking on a Guardian podcast, the former Greek finance minister said the Salzburg summit was a clear example of the European Union trying to “diminish her gradually”.

2pm update: ‘No one is listening!’ EU chief Barnier IGNORED during speech and EVEN Merkel ‘walks off’

The EU’S chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier was humiliated during a speech on Thursday where some members of the audience simply ignored him, with even German Chancellor Angela Merkel “walking off” halfway through.

Michel Barnier was addressing the European People’s Party (EPP) Congress in Helsinki on Thursday when he was ignored by members of the room.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel even “walked off” during the European Union chief Brexit negotiator’s speech, to speak with Manfred Weber.

Euronews’ Political Editor Darren McCaffrey said: “The most extraordinary thing about Barnier’s speech, literally NO-ONE is listening, I mean NO-ONE!!!

“Most people talking amongst themselves or went off to vote. Actually felt very disrespectful. He did not hold the room.”

Paul Withers taking over live reporting from Simon Osborne.

12.40pm update: Varadkar demands “level playing field” in Brexit deal

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar insists Britain must enshrine EU environmental, social and state aid rules as the price for striking a long-term future partnership deal with Brussels.

In a move that will infuriate Brexiteers, the Taoiseach also warned any future relationship between the UK and the bloc “must provide a level playing field”.

He did not spell out what that meant, Dublin and Brussels are demanding the UK commits to maintaining and updating new EU rules and regulations that affect competitiveness as the price of limited access to the single market.

Mr Varadkar said: “We want the future relationship between the EU and UK to be as close as possible, both in terms of the economy and security, but it must provide a level playing field and the integrity of our single market must be upheld.”

Jeremy Hunt

Jeremy Hunt said expected a Brexit deal in seven days was ‘probably pushing it’ (Image: PA)

12.03pm update: Business leaders join call for People’s Vote

More than 1,000 British business leaders are backing calls for a second EU referendum, according to a new poll.

The research was carried out by the People’s Vote campaign, the group behind a march last month which saw 700,000 people head to Westminster to demand another Brexit vote.

Sir Mike Rake, former president of the CBI and former chairman of BT, said: “The polling shows that business is deeply concerned by the Brexit process and that support is growing for a People’s Vote on the final deal.

“Retailers are worried about getting stock from the continent, car makers about delays at the border bringing their production lines to a grinding halt and everyone from hotel and leisure to the food industry is worried about how they are going to find staff.”

11.38am update: Brexit Cabinet meeting pushed back to next week

Government sources have said its is unlikely a crunch Cabinet meeting to discuss a Brexit deal will take place before next week.

Theresa May is expected to convene an emergency session of her cabinet in the coming days to secure consensus on the Northern Ireland backstop, the main obstacle to securing a deal to leave the European Union.

Ministers were understood to be ready for the talks today or tomorrow but that has now been ruled out.

10.59am update: Seven day Brexit deal “probably pushing it”

Jeremy Hunt has warned it is “probably pushing it” to expect a Brexit deal within the next seven days.

The Foreign Secretary said he was confident a deal over the terms of Britain’s departure would be struck but admitted: “how we get there is incredibly complicated.”

Speaking in Paris, Mr Hunt insisted there would never be a second EU referendum.

He used his speech to reassure European allies the UK will not diverge sharply from EU regulations once it cuts ties with Brussels and vowed Brexit would not signal “a race to the bottom”.

Speaking in French, Mr Hunt said: ”We have offered a framework for our future relationship which should give you confidence that we are not going to pursue a race to the bottom.”

Michel Barnier Nigel Farage

Michel Barnier has warned of a ‘Farage in every country’ (Image: GETTY)

10.32am update: Irish foreign minister cools Brexit expecations

Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney has tried to dampen expectations of an imminent Brexit deal and said it would be wrong to assume that any consensus within Theresa May’s Cabinet meant an agreement had been clinched.

He said: “In terms of commentary today, particularly in British media, I would urge caution that an imminent breakthrough is not necessarily to be taken for granted, not by a long shot.

“Repeatedly, people seem to make the same mistake over and over again assuming that if the British cabinet agrees something, well then that’s it. Then, everything is agreed.

“This is a negotiation. I would urge caution that people don’t get carried away on the back of rumour in the coming days.”

10.20am update: Brexiteers fear Single Market by the “backdoor”

Theresa May’s cabinet is rebelling against her Brexit deal, saying the move should not mean Britain stays in single market “by the backdoor”.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling is understood to have issued the warning to the Prime Minister in yesterday’s meeting of the cabinet.

Feras are rising the UK would have to abide by regulations such as working time directives and EU rules on state aid.

Mr Grayling said such restrictions would prevent the UK from gaining an advantage from being outside the bloc – the whole reason for Brexit.

David Davis

David Davis wants the Government to publish its legal advice (Image: GETTY)

10.03 update: Barnier warns of “Farage in every country”

EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has warned of the need to fight against forces seeking to “demolish” the European project, saying: “There is now a Farage in every country.”

Speaking to a conference of the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) in Finland, Mr Barnier said: “The European project is fragile, it is under threat, it is perishable and at the same time it is vital.”

He warned that by the middle of the century, Germany would be the only European country with an economy large enough to sit among the G8 group in its own right.

He said European countries must work together to defend their values and way of life against the alternative models presented by rising powers like China.

He told the event: “We must forcefully defend and promote our European model.

“If we don’t write the rules of the game, China will write them for us. We want a Europe that brings opportunities for everyone – a renewed social market economy.”

“We all have to fight against those who want to demolish Europe with their fear, their populist deceit, their attacks against the European project.

“There is now a Farage in every country.”

9.28am update: Cabinet meeting delayed until weekend

A crucial cabinet meeting to agree the UK’s Brexit negotiating position has been pushed back from Thursday to the weekend or early next week amid a row over whether to provide the full legal advice on the backstop to senior ministers.

Some ministers had believed the cabinet could have met late on Thursday afternoon to sign off Theresa May’s Brexit plan but No 10 indicated that the crunch meeting would not now take place until later.

Theresa May

Theresa May is coming under pressure to publish legal advice (Image: PA)

8.59am update: Davis demands full disclosure of legal advice

Former Brexit secretary David Davis said the full government legal advice on Brexit must be published.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “What we must see is the complete legal advice, not a summary.”

Mr Davis said MPs needed to know how the Irish backstop would work.

He said: “Are we going to have to wait until the Irish Government says it’s OK to leave? If so, that’s not acceptable.” 

“Are we going to have to wait until it’s convenient for the European Commission to say when we leave? If so, it’s not acceptable.

“I suspect that they have not pinned down any of these issues and they need to be pinned down before Parliament votes.”

Mr Davis said the Government had been “unwilling to take any risk” in testing the EU’s negotiating position except on the exit bill.

Leaving without a deal would mean some “hiccups in the first year” but the UK would have “all the rights and controls over our own destiny”.

Mr Davis said claims that there would be insulin and food shortages were “nonsense”.

He said: ”We are a big country, we can look after ourselves.”

7.33am update: Jeremy Hunt celebrates relationship between Britain and France

Britain and France will remain “tied by bonds of friendship and commerce” in the decades to come following Brexit, according to Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Mr Hunt will tell an audience in Paris that the cross-channel relationship is “one of competition and co-operation, similarity and difference”.

Speaking in French, Mr Hunt will say the close links between the two countries were highlighted by the response to recent terrorist atrocities.