Is Theresa May about to agree a Brexit deal with the EU?

Theresa May: Brexit deal 'within 48 hours' as 'judgement day' looms for PM | Daily Star

"We're not quite there yet", Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington told BBC radio.

Tory Brexiteers have urged senior minister to block the draft agreement and have also said they will vote the deal down in parliament.

A European source confirmed to AFP news agency that an agreement has been struck on a "technical level", but said it still needed political approval in London and Brussels.

Staunch Brexiters in the Cabinet including Liam Fox, Dominic Raab, Andrea Leadsom and Penny Mordaunt must be convinced that the deal would not tie the United Kingdom too closely to Brussels, following rules which it has no part in shaping.

"On the basis of our common efforts, the parameters of a possible agreement are verly largely defined, On the British side, the cabinet will meet Tuesday to examine these parameters".

Differences remain between Britain and the bloc over how to ensure the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland remains open after Brexit.

Theresa May faces the most perilous 24 hours of her premiership as she attempts to sell her Brexit deal with Brussels to sceptical ministers and MPs. Crucially, there is the question of whether the government can command the support of the Democratic Unionist Party, on whose votes it would be reliant to get legislation through Parliament.

Former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, a leading Brexit supporter who quit the government in July over May's approach, said he would fight the draft agreement.

Boris Johnson, who resigned over the summer because of the direction of United Kingdom negotiations, warned ahead of the official announcement that a deal was set to be struck but that it would "mean surrender by the U.K.", which would be "doomed" to "colony status" to the EU.

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The E.U. wants to get agreement on a draft deal by the end of Wednesday at the latest if there is to be a summit this month to approve it. It is clear that although we are making progress, we are not there yet, ' he told a press conference.

Reports suggested the campaign would compare the content of any deal secured by Mrs May with the prospect of a chaotic no-deal withdrawal, rather than comparing it to the UK's current situation as an European Union member.

Brussels has insisted on a "backstop" arrangement as insurance to protect the border while a deal is negotiated.

Some 500 pages of text can then be poured over.

That will come in the form of a temporary UK-wide customs arrangement, with specific provisions for Northern Ireland which go deeper on the issue of customs and alignment with the rules of the single market than for the rest of the United Kingdom.

Labour has also indicated it is likely to vote down the deal, though their MPs in areas which voted strongly for Brexit may abstain or vote with the government.

Even with such measures in place, the British government says leaving the European Union without a deal could cause major economic disruption, with gridlock at ports and disruption to supplies of foods, goods and medicines.

The final sticking points were believed to have been the situation around the Irish border, and the so-called backstop - the arrangement created to confront the prospect of no deal being struck.

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