Theresa May secures 'secret Brexit deal to keep United Kingdom in customs union'

Ireland's Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

Image Leo Varadkar is seeking a guarantee that there will be no return of a hard border

Mrs May is expected to brief the Cabinet on progress in talks when members gather for their weekly meeting at 10 Downing Street on Tuesday.

The Brexit Secretary, Dominic Raab, is in talks with Northern Irish politicians whilst Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington and Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley went to the Republic of Ireland's capital of Dublin.

Reports at the weekend suggested that the EU is now ready to contemplate concessions which would keep all of the United Kingdom in a temporary customs union following the end of a transition period due to end on December 31 2020.

The deal keeps open the possibility of Britain securing a future free trade agreement similar to the one signed between Canada and the European Union in 2016.

But Mr Johnson dismissed this format as "a Christmas present of the finest old Brussels fudge" which would mean the United Kingdom getting "absolutely nothing in return" for its £39 billion divorce payment.

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Writing in the Sun, Mr Johnson described the arrangement as a "national humiliation", leaving the United Kingdom as "a vassal state, a colony".

Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Barack Obama made dueling election appearances on Sunday, offering sharply different views on the country's problems but agreeing on the high stakes for voters in the final 48 hours of a tight campaign.

"They want a frictionless Border in Ireland".

"We will be told that we have protected "our precious union".

Mr Johnson was fervent about how damaging this would be saying: "We are choosing wholesale subjection".

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That can only happen if Northern Ireland remains in the customs union and single market, at least for goods and agricultural products. Under this plan we surrender control to Brussels.

According to the Telegraph, May has included Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, the government's chief legal adviser, in her special Brexit Cabinet after ministers said they wouldn't sign off on a deal without his advice.

Writing in the "Observer", Mr Blair said the United Kingdom government has tabled a series of "incompatible demands" which has led to a negotiating impasse. "Negotiations are still continuing, and therefore we are 95 per cent of the way there in relation to the Withdrawal Agreement".

"And they made a rash commitment last December that the Northern Ireland issue would be resolved as a part of the Withdrawal Agreement, with the Border frictionless and with a backstop to guarantee it".

"This has been committed to by the United Kingdom in order to have a Withdrawal Agreement".

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"If we accept this appalling deal we must realise it is forever".

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