Brexit deal not close admits Number 10
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Downing Street has admitted a Brexit deal remains a long way off.
The prime minister's official spokesman cautioned that even though there were rumours of a breakthrough earlier in the week the deadlock drags on.
He said: 'Don't be under any illusion, there remains a significant amount of work to do.'
The comments came after Theresa May told the cabinet she would not agree a withdrawal deal with the EU 'at any cost'.
The prime minister said any agreement will be dependent on an 'acceptable' framework for future relations in areas like trade and security, expected to be covered in a separate political declaration.
You may also want to watch:
At the regular weekly meeting in Number 10, senior ministers discussed proposals for a 'review mechanism' to ensure that the UK is not stuck indefinitely in a possible backstop arrangement designed to avoid a hard border in Ireland.
The meeting came as hopes of a special Brexit summit to finalise the withdrawal agreement in November appeared to be receding.
- 1 The Spanish village with the mythical blue lagoon
- 2 Empty shelves are partly down to Brexit - but Leavers won't admit it
- 3 Rabbits defeat French army
- 4 Party politics will not save us from the Tories - we need drastic action
- 5 Would Javid have renamed ICU wards 'Drama Queen Zones'?
- 6 Has something shifted in sado-populist Britain?
- 7 Ed Vaizey overtakes Paul Dacre in the Ofcom race
- 8 Priti Patel - the poster girl for our poisonous politics
- 9 Boris Johnson: The sado-populist prime minister
- 10 Cost of Brexit is already 38 times more than the money set aside for levelling up
A gathering of EU leaders in Brussels on the previously mooted date of November 17 is now thought to have been ruled out, while a special summit later in the month would be dependent on EU negotiator Michel Barnier declaring that 'decisive progress' has been made in talks.
Barnier also said a breakthrough on the Irish border issue was not close.
'For now, we are still negotiating and I am not, as I am speaking to you this morning, able to tell you that we are close to reaching an agreement,' he said.
'There is still a real point of divergence on the way of guaranteeing peace in Ireland, that there are no borders in Ireland, while protecting the integrity of the single market.'
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.