Theresa May makes urgent Brexit statement as UK admits talks have hit ‘significant problem’
The Prime Minister will address the House of Commons after UK sources admitted a "significant problem" and No Deal was branded "inevitable"

Theresa May will today make an urgent Brexit statement after the UK admitted talks with the EU have hit deadlock.

The Prime Minister will address the House of Commons from 3.30pm in a bombshell moment with just two days to go to a crucial summit.

This morning her key allies, the DUP, declared a no-deal Brexit is “probably inevitable” as government sources admitted they were stuck in a “significant problem”.

A dash to Brussels by Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab ended in failure last night – and further talks are said to be off until a summit of 28 leaders on Wednesday.

Last night Downing Street pointedly refused to say Mrs May – who faces a two-pronged Tory ‘pizza plot’ against her leadership – was hoping for a deal at this week’s meeting. They only said she is expecting “progress”.

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said today it appears unlikely a deal will be reached. If so, she said, “the need to change course becomes all the more necessary” as “no responsible government” should contemplate No Deal.

The Scottish First Minister said it would be better to stay in the EU single market, extend the date of Brexit or even back a second EU referendum than be “railroaded” into a “reckless blindfold Brexit.”

Preparations for quitting without a deal on 29 March 2019 are now poised to spring into action within weeks.

Top civil servants have warned contingency plans must start being put into effect by the end of the month – whatever the situation, the Times reports.

Otherwise they face not being ready with stockpiles of medicine and extra customs and border checks in time for 29 March 2019.

Talks between the EU and UK are still in deadlock over the issue of the Northern Ireland border.

The EU wants to put in checks between the province and the rest of the UK. And No10 was looking at dropping an ‘end date’ on its backup plan to keep borders open. Both plans enrage Tory Brexiteers and the DUP .

Theresa May’s spokesman declared today that the EU “continues to insist on the possibility of a customs border down the Irish Sea”.

The spokesman added: “[That] is something which Parliament has already unanimously rejected and which is not acceptable to the Prime Minister”.

Today it’s reported all further technical talks have been called off until Wednesday – when Theresa Maymust thrash out a political deal at a frantic EU summit.

That could throw the entire Brexit timetable into doubt and ramps up the chance of a damaging No Deal exit.

Wednesday’s summit in Brussels was meant to be the “moment of truth” that would open up a final “crossing the Ts” gathering in November.

Even if a deal is reached, it then has to pass a vote in the UK Parliament – where Tory Brexiteers and the DUP have vowed to defeat any sign of compromise.

Theresa May relies on her 10 DUP allies to prop her up because she has no majority.

Today DUP Brexit spokesman Sammy Wilson told the Belfast News Letter: “Given the way in which the EU has behaved and the corner they’ve put Theresa May into, there’s no deal which I can see at present which will command a majority in the House of Commons.

“So it is probably inevitable that we will end up with a no deal scenario.”

Mrs May is expected to meet Sinn Fein leader Mary-Lou McDonald and its leader in the Northern Ireland Assembly Michelle O’Neill in Downing Street later.

Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer said the Government must now publish details of its revised plans for the Irish border.

“At the moment we don’t even know what the proposal is that everybody has fallen out about over the weekend,” the shadow Brexit secretary told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“That needs to be looked at and scrutinised in Parliament.”

Ireland’s ambassador to the UK, Adrian O’Neill, said events in Brussels were a “setback” and could increase the prospect of a no-deal Brexit.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Westminster Hour: “Time is running out, there is no doubt about that. In all member states, preparation for all eventualities are ramping up quite significantly.”

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt admitted talks were going through “a difficult period” but that there was always going to be “a moment like this”.

Arriving in Brussels for a meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council he said a deal was still possible if there was “goodwill on all sides” saying: “There are one or two very difficult outstanding issues but I think we can get there.

“Whether we do this week or not, who knows?”

But Brexiteer Cabinet ministers will tonight plot over pizza how to kill off Theresa May’s plan – while reports suggest she has 44 no confidence letters against her, four short of triggering a leadership battle.

Tory MP Nadine Dorries suggesting installing David Davis – who has called for a Cabinet insurrection – as interim leader.

And former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson demanded Mrs May “chuck” her plans, adding: “The EU is treating this country with naked contempt.”

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

+ 83 = 89