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If there is a Brexit deal this is what it will look like
The talk at Westminster this weekend is of an imminent breakthrough on Brexit, with some optimists suggesting Theresa May could bring a deal to cabinet as early as next Tuesday. British and EU negotiators have gone into a "tunnel" of intense talks, conducted in secret, aimed at finding a compromise on the Northern Ireland backstop.

EU deputy chief negotiator Sabine Weyand last Wednesday briefed ambassadors from the 27 remaining member states on the state of negotiations and the shape of a possible compromise. It would see the EU agreeing to write into the legally-binding withdrawal agreement the outline of a bare-bones customs union covering the whole of the UK.

The agreement would still include a Northern Ireland-specific backstop that would require compliance with the full EU customs code and regulations on goods and agri-food products. The UK-wide version would see Britain applying the same tariffs as the EU on imports from outside Europe.

The proposal would mean that there would be no customs barrier in the Irish Sea, remaining within the red line restated by May's official spokeswoman on Friday that Northern Ireland must not be in a separate customs territory to the rest of the UK.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Nov 3rd, 2018 at 12:07:25 PM EST

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