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Theresa can fall back on sorting the Brexit Irish backstop – and the government has not decided what to do

SUNDAY evening it was the intention that a deal would be made on the Irish backstop.
The idea was that the Brexit Secretary, Dominic Raab, would leave for Brussels on Monday to arrange business with Michel Barnier, the EU's main negotiator.
A backstop would keep the UK in a customs union with the EU until and unless a trade agreement is signed. On Tuesday it would be presented to the cabinet and Theresa May would then go to Brussels to meet the other 27 leaders on Wednesday evening. But this planning is rapidly deteriorating.
The United Kingdom and the EU are still far apart on crucial questions, and the government has not decided what to do.
A Brussels smash-up seems more likely than an agreement at the moment.
A member of the inner cabinet that attended the discussion on Thursday evening told me that the meeting "did not really settle".
Getty – Pool It looks like the UK and the EU will end up in a subsequent Salzburg style next week. I have heard that "the prime minister was presided over contrary to reasoning". What the meeting discussed was whether the so-called backstop should have an end date.
This backstop would keep the UK in a customs union with the EU until and unless a trade agreement between them has been signed.
DUP & # 39; s Arlene Foster threatens to block Brexit over the Northern Irish border
It would also keep Northern Ireland in a customs union with the EU unless there is technology that can keep the border as it is now – something the EU claims does not exist at the moment.
I understand that Liam Fox was clear that the backstop must have an end date.
His argument is that without the EU having little motivation to sign a trade agreement with us as it would have us in a customs union.
We would also be unable to sign meaningful trade agreements with any other country during this period and deny the UK one of the most important benefits of Brexit.
Other cabinet ministers also made it clear that the backstop should be temporary.
But they were less emphatic than Fox about the need for a date.
Alamy, the Northern Irish part of the backstop can only be terminated with the consent of the EU. Most of them accept the number of number 10 that the EU would not accept a date, so another form of time limit is needed.
Interestingly, Jeremy Hunt, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, was one of the most adamant at this point.
An attending minister tells me that Hunt was "harder than you would expect".
I understand that the current idea is that the UK will ask for a fraction clause.
EU-Donald Tusk says that the comparison between EU and Soviet Union by Jeremy Hunt & # 39; unwise & # 39; and & # 39; abusive & # 39; used to be
A well-informed source tells me: "The fudge of the evaluation date will keep the largest part of the cabinet together."
But the problem is that the Brexiteers Cabinet are clear that they do not want the EU to check the breach clause.
However, it is difficult to see that the EU does not stop – at least – the Northern Irish part of the backstop can only be ended with its consent.
One of those close to the negotiations says to me: "If their appetite for fudge is just as good as that of the prime minister, then a deal can be made, but I'm not sure if that is the case." ;
AFP The government wants a UK-wide customs backstop to reassure the DUP, on which May is dependent on its Commons majority. Another source of the government warns that although the EU is prepared to soften the political statement, it will not fuddle the withdrawal agreement a legal document.
The other problem is that the government wants a relapse in the entire UK to reassure the DUP – on which May depends on its Commons majority – that Northern Ireland will not be placed in another customs territory of the rest of the country.
Michel Barnier says that an agreement can be reached by Wednesday, but only if the prime minister agrees to impose a border between Great Britain and Northern Ireland
But during the meeting of the inner cabinet on Thursday, it was made clear that the EU does not agree yet.
This morning it seems that the UK and the EU are going to another smash in Salzburg next week.
May comes on a Wednesday night, but the UK and the EU still read different menu's.
It remains to be seen whether the ticking clock can concentrate the mind and handle a deal. It is an icy prospect for May
THE RELATIONS between Theresa May and the DUP, on whom she relies for her Commons majority, are at sub-zero levels.
It is so bad that a senior DUP figure has told influential Tory MPs that he wants to get rid of her in November.
Getty – Pool Ms. May must reassure the DUP that Northern Ireland will not be placed in another customs territory of the rest of the country. Now it is unlikely that the requirements of the DUP will be met in the short term.
But if the trust relationship between the Tories and the DUP fails, it will be very difficult for the Tories to govern – they simply will not have a majority.
Some, however, are willing to give it a try.
A minister – who is part of an operation to go ashore in May – says to me: "You do not have to let Parliament rule."
Michel Barnier says that an agreement can be reached by Wednesday, but only if the prime minister agrees to impose a border between Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The tensions between May and the DUP have been going on for a while.
The DUP are furious because various guarantees they gave them in December about the backstop were not confirmed by the events.
The DUP are not slow to feel insulted and they feel that their officials are arrogant that they can not go anywhere else, so accept whatever the government does.
But there is a feeling among the cabinet that number 10 is wrong with the DUP, that they have not understood how fundamental the Union is to them.
As a source of the Government remarks, "On their red lines you can make as many threats from Corbyn as you want and it will not make any difference."
You need the DUP for more than just numbers, but also moral authority. Cabinet resource on DUP
Likewise, offers of extra money for Northern Ireland will not win them if they feel that the deal will ultimately threaten its position in the Union.
A growing number of people in the government accept that it is increasingly likely that the DUP will not vote for the withdrawal agreement.
But they claim that the party has only nine MPs, so the figures can be redeemed somewhere else.
But as a minister of the Cabinet warns: "You need the DUP for more than just numbers, but also moral authority."
Because if the DUP will not vote for the deal because they think it is threatening the place of Northern Ireland in the Union, a group of Tory MPs will follow this example.
Deeply potted donor SOMEONE still appreciates what Theresa May says.
During a fundraising action on Wednesday evening, a donor paid £ 150,000 for a copy of her speech – a record price for the text of the annual address of a Tory leader.
I heard that she is going to sign it for the donor with the deep pockets.

DUP poses a threat to the budget
To prevent the budget from becoming entangled in the crossfire of the Brexit, the government decided to have it early – on October 29th.
This strategy has failed.
Getty – Pool The DUP could damage the budget without having to vote against it. The DUP threaten to vote against if they are not happy with what the government is proposing about the Irish relapse.
But the DUP can even play the budget with WITHOUT votes against it.
Imagine that they put down an amendment to the Finance Act that proposes, for example, to deposit billions more in universal credits or that after the Brexit the VAT on domestic fuel should be removed.
If these amendments were adopted, what they could do with the support of Tory rebels and the opposition, it would blow a hole in the government's finances – leaving Philip Hammond with a very expensive headache.
JEREMY CLARKSON FW will never be F1 – women will have to compete on level with men KATIE GLASS ITV presenters struggle to whip up enthusiasm for Princess Eugenie's wedding ROD LIDDLE Gutless knight who has fled Westminster terrorist must fall on sword THE SUN SAYS A Brexit deal is around, but the EU is driving the UK into violent chaos? THE SUN SAYS It is just nauseous to spend £ 4 billion abroad on dubious foreign aid projects
Matt feels chipper on EU
An intriguing meeting of the Green Chip group of Tory MPs on Tuesday evening.
Mark Harper, the former Chief Whip, argued that the kind of deal that May is looking for with the EU would not come through the Commons.
Alamy Live News Matt Hancock says it would be more difficult for Labor to vote against a deal agreed by 28 countries than people have realized Matt Hancock. The Minister of Health has argued that it would be more difficult for the Labor to vote against a deal that was agreed by 28 countries than people knew.
While Michael Gove, the environmental secretary, stressed that a deal in Canadian style would be much better than no deal.
Cultural secretary mocked his hilarious slow-motion attempts at parkour

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