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No-deal Brexit more and more likely

17 October 2018

Talks stalled over the weekend between UK Brexit secretary Dominic Raab and European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, and that is what led to the standstill we're seeing now between the two parties.

However, she admitted there could be a gap between the end of the two-year transition and when that free trade deal is concluded.

This offer would not in itself resolve the backstop issue which must be included in the withdrawal treaty and ratified before the end of March to avoid a damaging "no deal" scenario.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May is desperate to make the Brexit deal work. "For a breakthrough we need new facts".

Asked if the November summit would still go ahead, Mr Tusk said: "It's for the leaders to decide whether we need an extraordinary summit in November or not".

The reports come as Theresa May heads to Brussels to address European Union leaders as she battles to keep her faltering hopes of securing a Brexit deal alive.

Tusk has made it clear that if May and Barnier do not signal concrete progress towards a draft deal he will not call a November summit to sign it.

European Council President Donald Tusk touches his eyebrow after delivering a statement during a joint news conference following a Tripartite Social Summit roundtable at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018.

"The prime minister and her government are too weak and too divided to protect people's jobs, our economy or ensure there is no hard border in Northern Ireland".

Former prime minister Sir John Major weighed into the mounting fears over a no-deal Brexit last night in his gravest declaration yet over the impact of European Union withdrawal.

But Tusk said he had "no grounds for optimism" based on a report Tuesday from Barnier and May's appearance in parliament on Monday where she stood her ground.

Corbyn used all his allotted PMQs questions to badger May on her Brexit plans, beginning with a jibe at her recent habit of not referring to her Chequers proposal by name - seen as a way to try and detoxify it for rebellious Tory MPs.

A dog wears a banner during the "Wooferendum march" in central London where dog owners and their pets gather to demand a new Brexit referendum.

Her official spokesman later told reporters: "The Cabinet strongly supported her on the importance of maintaining the integrity of the Union and agreed that we must ensure we can not be kept in a backstop arrangement indefinitely".

But a senior European official said the speech had only underscored for Barnier the uphill struggle he faces to get an agreement.

Her idea is that a future trade arrangement would be so comprehensive as to avoid the need for border checks on the island of Ireland.

The prime minister heads to Brussels today with little expectation of unlocking the further progress on Brexit that had been hoped for this month.

She says this would threaten the integrity of the United Kingdom - and it is strongly opposed by her Northern Irish allies from the Democratic Unionist Party.

Economists fear "no deal" Brexit would greatly disrupt trade, travel and manufacturers' supply chains in Europe, push Britain into recession and even have global consequences.

It comes as Tusk earlier this week warned European Union leaders that a no-deal Brexit is "more likely than ever before".

No-deal Brexit more and more likely