Brexit deal preparations are far more advanced than previously thought - Sunday Times

  • The Sunday Times reports that the EU and the UK have agreed on the Customs Union.
  • The Prime Minister's office said that report by the Times is "speculation."
  • The UK cabinet convenes on Tuesday without an official agenda.

The Sunday Times reports that the European Union made a significant concession that will allow the whole of the UK to remain in a customs union. This solution will avoid a hard border on the Isle of Ireland, thus satisfying the requests of the DUP that props up the government.

The reported agreement also includes an "exit clause" that clarifies that the solution is temporary, thus satisfying the hardline pro-Brexit members of PM Theresa May's Conservative Party. Regulatory checks will be carried out in shops and factories rather than at the border, according to the publication.

With the potential breakthrough on the question of the Irish border, preparations for a deal are "far more advanced than previously disclosed." Both sides have previously stated that the vast majority of the Brexit agreement has been agreed upon. 

PM May convenes her cabinet on Tuesday as usual, but ministers have not received the agenda for the meeting. The secrecy leads to further speculation that significant progress is being made behind the scenes.

A spokesperson for Downing Street brushed off the Times' report as "speculation".

The British Pound advanced in recent days, partly on reports about a post-Brexit arrangement for the financial services sector, also denied later on. 

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