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Could there be a Brexit deal in November?
07 November 2018, 09:44 | Ross Houston
Dominic Raab has privately demanded the right to pull Britain out of EU’s Irish backstop after just three months
Following the Cabinet meeting, Mrs May's spokesman said: "The Prime Minister said she was confident of reaching a deal".
Work is continuing on this, he said, adding: "Don't be under any illusions that there remains a significant amount of work to do".
Hopes of a major breakthrough on Brexit have risen after Theresa May's cabinet edged closer to agreeing a deal with Brussels.
There is a growing confidence in Whitehall the European Union will accept an all-UK backstop, which would mean the whole of Britain remaining in a customs arrangement with Brussels to avoid a hard Border if a trade deal can not be finalised by December 2020.
Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph reported that Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab has privately demanded the right to pull Britain out of the EU's proposed Irish backstop after just three months.
With the United Kingdom due to formally quit the European Union on March 29 next year, and three months needed to ratify the plans, a squeezed timetable carried the risk of a "no-deal by accident" scenario, ministers were told.
At the regular weekly meeting in Number 10, senior ministers discussed proposals for a "review mechanism" to ensure that the United Kingdom is not stuck indefinitely in a possible backstop arrangement created to avoid a hard border in Ireland.
The crunch meeting comes amid mounting pressure to finalise the withdrawal agreement in order to announce the leaving terms at a special summit in November.
The UK insists it should be able to decide to abandon the backstop to avoid staying tied indefinitely to the EU. She said that, while the United Kingdom should aim to secure a withdrawal agreement as soon as possible, this would not be done at any cost.
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However, the Irish prime minister added it may be to Ireland's "advantage" for a review clause to be included in a backstop agreement.
"While we too hope the Northern Ireland backstop will never be required to be used, it will be required to be written down in legal text". Without an operational backstop there will not be an accord and there will not be a transition period.
In response to tweet from Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney on Monday, the DUP's chief whip in the House of Commons, Jeffrey Donaldson, cautioned that it "Looks like we're heading for no-deal".
"Can't understand why Irish Government seems so intent on this course".
A spokesman for the department said: "In line with DEFRA, we have issued practical advice for people who wish to travel to European Union countries with their pets in the event the United Kingdom leaves the EU in a no deal situation".
It came as shadow chancellor John McDonnell confirmed Labour would not support a temporary customs union with the EU.
"Such an outcome will have serious consequences for the economy of the Republic".
All pet owners are now being told to ensure they have the correct health protection documents in place for the possibility of a no deal Brexit.
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