Ministers water down changes to ‘meaningful’ Brexit vote

Ministers water down changes to ‘meaningful’ Brexit vote

But Mr Barnier said: "Our backstop can't be extended to the whole UK. Why?"

At the heart of the problem is ensuring there is no hard border between the British province of Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, which will remain in the EU.

The arrangement gives terminals and freight operators a measure of short-term certainty, according to BPA chief executive Richard Ballantyne.

But the customs boss defended the figure when he appeared before MPs and said a "similar" amount would be lost if the government fails to secure an agreement with Brussels.

"There is still an urgent need for clarity on non-customs checks, which account for three quarters of border stoppages".

The Best for Britain campaign is partially funded by Hungarian-US billionaire George Soros, a vocal opponent of Brexit.

She's now struggling with how to square this pledge with her promise to keep trade at the Irish border flowing freely - and the conflict is a potential deal-breaker.

A source close to Mr Davis said there had been "a back and forth" on the wording of the paper, which "now expresses, in much more detail, the time-limited nature of our proposal".

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said the plan "raises more questions than it answers".

"The prime minister should urgently rethink her decision and back Labour's call for a new comprehensive customs union and new deal with the single market after Brexit".

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Mrs May said the backstop would only be necessary if "for technical reasons" the new customs arrangements were not up and running by January 1, 2021 when the transition period expires.

"I want to deliver for the British people, that's exactly what we are doing as a Government and if you look at the process of these negotiations - nobody ever said it was going to be easy". One of his objections was that the backstop can't apply to the whole United Kingdom but must be specific to Northern Ireland.

Responding, Mrs May told the BBC: "This is a negotiation, Michel Barnier has said exactly that point".

The flow of migrants heading for EU member Croatia across Albania and its northern neighbour Montenegro remains modest compared with the hundreds of thousands who took a route further to the east when the European migration crisis peaked in 2015.

Mr Thompson said the high frequency of transactions meant firms would still have to fill in customs declarations.

MPs could still vote down any Brexit deal but wouldn't be able to direct what the government does next.

Even if he hadn't, the government's proposed backstop would have set us on the road to Remain by another name.

That sounded "paradoxical", Barnier said, reflecting "some kind of nostalgia" for European Union membership among British ministers who wanted to keep the benefits without following the regulations.

Mrs May faces an European Union summit on 28 June, at which both sides were hoping to demonstrate progress in the Brexit negotiations.

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