Published: Fri, October 12, 2018
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Dutch PM 'cautiously optimistic' about progress on Brexit talks

Dutch PM 'cautiously optimistic' about progress on Brexit talks

Cabinet ministers briefed on the Brexit talks said the issue of the Irish backstop was close to being settled, the FT said.

The DUP has stepped up warnings to British Prime Minister Theresa May not to compromise over the border on the island of Ireland in her efforts to secure a Brexit deal.

The 27 European Union leaders meeting next Wednesday in Brussels want to be able to announce "decisive progress" on the Brexit deal to agree to hold another summit in November.

Blair, a prominent voice opposed to Brexit, resigned as prime minister in 2008.

He said the only "visible systematic" customs checks between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom would mean scanning the barcodes on lorries or containers, which could be done on ferries or in transit ports, and filling out online customs declarations.

Checks of animals and animal-derived products would still have to take place between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom and cover all of that trade.

As the rhetoric from Belfast intensifies and the DUP doubles down on its opposition to any checks on trade between Britain and Northern Ireland, Sabine Weyand, the deputy to the chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, told a delegation of Northern Irish business leaders invited to Brussels this week that the deal on the table was "the best the European Union has ever offered any country in the world".

"We are not there yet".

Still, diplomatic sources on both sides of the talks told Reuters that "it was going well" and that Brexit negotiators locked away in Brussels this week were "making headway" specifically on the Irish issue.

Dow drops 545 points as stock market slide continues
He continued to attack Fed Chair Jerome Powell Thursday, saying he was "disappointed" in "far too stringent" rate hike decisions. Higher rates can slow economic growth, erode corporate profits and make investors less willing to pay high prices for stocks.

"Why give ourselves this problem in a field of the global economy where we are globally preeminent?" he said.

As that departure date creeps closer, pressure on May from various directions is intensifying.

Conservative MP Helen Grant said she believed the DUP was "bluffing" about withholding its support.

By withdrawing its support, the DUP could make it hard for May to pass legislation through parliament, including the budget which will be voted on later this month.

Mrs May is to brief key ministers on negotiations with the European Union later.

"She will not have DUP support regardless of whether the government tries to bribe, bully or browbeat us into accepting it", Wilson also said.

The Northern Ireland Retail Consortium (NIRC), which was also at the meeting, said the deal on the table was uniquely beneficial to Northern Ireland's economy, which would suffer disproportionately from Brexit.

In addition, Northern Ireland would remain under large parts of single market regulations, requiring enhanced checks on products arriving from Britain, particularly agricultural goods.

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