Published On: Tue, Dec 5th, 2017

Brexit deal LIVE: May confirms she WILL reconvene in Brussels THIS WEEK post call with DUP

Yesterday seemed on the verge of negotiating a deal which would move talks forward to trade before the made a furious intervention. 

However DUP leader Arlene Foster refused to accept any terms which would see Northern Ireland leave the EU on different terms to the rest of the UK after Mrs May proposed aligning the state with the Republic. 

The PM has now cleared her schedule for crunch talks in Westminster, as well as with leaders in Brussels and on both sides of the Irish border. 

Next week Mrs May will put forward her final offer to the EU before the December summit on Thursday and Friday. 

A deal will need to be in place with Dublin and Stormont by the end of this week, however, with Mrs May expected to return to Brussels on Friday. 

With little work expected over the weekend – especially given the DUP’s refusal to carry out talks on Sundays due to their religious reliefs – the next four days will be crucial. 

Mrs May could return to Brussels as soon as tommorrow as the clock keeps ticking on Britain’s Brexit countdown. 

Check back throughout the day for live updates below as Mrs May fights to save Brexit. 


Theresa May has four days to come to a Brexit agreement

12.42pm – Urgent question begins

Mr Starmer begins his urgent question by exclaiming: “What an embarassment.

“The DUP tail is now wagging the Tory dog. This is now deeply serious.”

He condemns Mrs May for not addressing Parliament himself. 

Follow it live here.

12.40pm – May welcomes Spanish PM to Downing Street

Theresa May has given a Brexit update while welcoming Spanish  Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to Downing Street 

Mrs May said: “Our talks with the European Union have made a lot of progress.

“There are still a couple of issues we need to work on.

“But we’ll be reconvening in Brussels later this week as we look ahead to the December European Council.

“But I know in everything we do we want to ensure, particularly, that we recognise the needs of Spanish citizens here in the UK , and UK citizens living in Spain.”

12.28pm – Post-Cabinet updates

Prime Minister May is believed to habe told her Cabinet the UK and EU are “very close to getting an agreement” but “a small number of issues” remain. 

And Downing Street has confirmed Mrs May and Ms Foster will talk over the phone later today.  

It follows Ms Foster’s refusal to travel to London for an in-person meeting. 

12.15pm – Urgent Question in House of Commons

Follow our coverage of the Urgent Question expected any minute in Parliament

It will be asked by Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer. 

An urgent question has also been tabled in Holyrood. 

11.40am – Arlene Foster refuses Theresa May meeting

The DUP do not believe a meeting betwen Ms Foster and Mrs May today would be constructive. 

A source said: “Arlene will come in when they are close to agreeing something. There is such a level of work to be done at the moment – it is not at a stage where Arlene would be involved as leader.”

11.30am – Arlene Foster receives support from Gibraltar

DUP leader Arlene Foster has tweeted her gratitude to Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo. 

Yesterday the Gibraltar leader said the territory should receive special treatment after Brexit if Northern Ireland does. 

Ms Foster tweeted: “Good to receive an encouraging and supportive phone call from @FabianPicardo and our friends in Gibraltar.”

11.12am – European Commission says ‘show is now in London’

A spokesman for the European Commission said all eyes are now on London.

They said: “The show is now in London. We stand ready for talks with the UK at any time when London is ready.

“We will not discuss any texts that have not been agreed and which have not been seen by the College of Commissioners.”

11.10am – Government to face urgent question in Parliament

A minister from Theresa May’s British government will be called to parliament to face an urgent question. 

They will be asked to discuss Brexit at 12.30pm after Labour Party was granted leave to ask an urgent question on the topic.

The question will be asked by Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer. 

10.35am – Fighting talk on Twitter

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has called on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to “get his act together” on Brexit.

She tweeted: “This could be the moment for opposition and soft Brexit/remain Tories to force a different, less damaging approach – keep the UK in the single market and customs union. But it needs Labour to get its act together. How about it @jeremycorbyn?”

Former Labour leader Ed Miliband also took to Twitter to express concern about how negotiations were unfolding.

He posted: “What an absolutely ludicrous, incompetent, absurd, make it up as you go along, couldn’t run a piss up in a brewery bunch of jokers there are running the government at the most critical time in a generation for the country.”


Boris Johnson arriving at Downing Street ahead of this morning’s Cabinet meeting

10.26am – Trade warning from EU

The EU’s trade chief has issued a warning to Theresa May in the wake of yesterday’s horror show and ahead of renewed talks this weeks.

Cecilia Malmström said there will be no “one hundred per cent total frictionless” trade agreement between the UK and Brussels after Brexit. 

She said: “It can’t be one hundred per cent total frictionless trade because they are not in the internal market.”

10.23am – DUP ‘did not see draft text’ before EU meeting

A DUP source has told Sky News the part were not shown the text of the proposed deal before Mrs May presented it to Dublin and Brussels. 

Confusion remains over how much the DUP knew about the proposed deal before it was approved by Downing Street. 

The exact wording of the proposal could have been adjusted at the last minute in a move which could have reduced the DUP’s room for manoeuvre and infuriated Arlene Foster. 

10.15am – Tory MP Anna Soubry calls for NI deal for whole UK

Anna Soubry said any deal which replicates Northern Ireland’s place in the single market should be extended across the UK. 

The Tory MP tweeted: “If regulatory alignment is good enough for #NIreland then it’s good enough for the entire UK so let’s embrace it & keep UK together.”

10.00am – Theresa May holds cabinet meeting

Theresa May is currently holding a cabinet meeting where ministers will attempt to make sense of yesterdsay’s chaos. 

Discussions on how to win around the DUP will also be won around to Mrs May’s proposals. 

On his way into the meeting Chancellor Philip Hammond said: “We’re very confident we’ll be able to move this forward – discussions are going on right now.”


Theresa May is scrambling to regain control of talks in Brussels, Dublin and Stormont

9.30am – Ruth Davidson calls for equal treatment across UK

Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson said Brexit must not result in the country being “divided by different deals”. 

She tweeted “regulatory alignment” should be considered on a “UK-wide basis” to avoid a split in the UK. 

9.20am – Theresa May faces leadership challenge

One Tory MP has warned the Theresa May faces a leadership challenge if she rolls over for Dublin and Brussels. 

They said she faces a “leadership challenge this side of Christmas” if she did not stand firm in the face of EU pressure. 

It comes after the leader of DUP splinter party TUV said Mrs May should be removed from office. 

Jim Allister said of yesterday’s “alignment” proposals: “The thing is lunacy. Any so-called unionist Prime Minister who presided over this is a Prime Minister who should be removed from office.”

9.15am – Post-Brexit devotion would be “anti-Welsh”

The changes in devolution after Brexit would be “anti-Welsh”, a Labour MP has warned. 

Shadow Brexit Minister Jenny Chapman said the return of powers from Brussels to the UK would actually harm Wales. 

However this claim was dismissed by Tory MP David Jones who said the Welsh Assembly would have “not one iota less power”. 

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