May travels to Brussels without Ireland deal

May fails to strike Brexit border deal with Ireland

According to a leak to the Irish state broadcaster RTE, the United Kingdom was willing to agree to Northern Ireland having "continued regulatory alignment" with the Republic of Ireland to ensure there was a continued soft border between the North and South.

This week began with the DUP leader, Arlene Foster, reminding the EU, Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Theresa May that, whether they like it or not, her party holds some cards in the Brexit game.

British prime minister Theresa May is travelling to Brussels on Monday (4 December) to try to reach a deal on Brexit divorce issues despite having failed to clinch an agreement on the Northern Ireland border ahead of the meeting.

The Irish prime minister said he is "surprised and disappointed" that there was no agreement in Brexit talks today.

Varadkar said he had spoken to Juncker following the failure to strike a deal "and he has confirmed to me that Ireland's position remains Europe's position".

The issue of citizens' rights has also remained a hurdle.

May and Juncker made no comment to reporters when they met at the European Union executive's Berlaymont headquarters for a lunch that diplomats and officials hope can seal a breakthrough that would open the way to negotiations on future trade relations.

GDP growth breaks 5-Q slide
The finance minister said a cogent GST mechanism has been developed and no country in the world has 5 per cent tax rate. Mining also posted a sharp uptick in growth to 5.5 per cent from a decline of 0.7 per cent in the previous quarter.

She said: "There are a couple of issues, some differences do remain which require further negotiation and consultation".

London has broadly agreed to numerous EU's divorce terms, including paying out something like 50 billion euros.

While for months a divorce settlement on financial issues between the United Kingdom and the European Union represented the biggest hurdle to progress in talks, the United Kingdom last week mostly agreed to pay what the European Union has been asking for. Both sides would promise to maintain compatible trading rules, keeping the border transparent for trade.

The Prime Minister is reliant on any support from the party as the DUP is propping up her government with its 10 MPs.

"I hope we are in a place this evening where Irish people north and south will get reassurance from the wording that is very close to being finalised now".

Ms Foster had issued a statement warning it would not accept "any form of regulatory divergence which separates Northern Ireland economically or politically from the rest of the UK".

The EU has demanded "sufficient progress" on key withdrawal issues - the UK's exit payment, citizens' rights and Irish border - before the second phase can start.

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