Theresa May claims she has made good progress in Brexit negotiations.
During PMQs, the prime minister insisted that progress had been made during talks in Brussels and that she expected to get a deal that was right for the whole of the United Kingdom.
‘We’re leaving the European Union, we’re leaving the single market and the customs union but we will do what is right in the interests of the whole United Kingdom,’ May told parliament.
She added: ‘And nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.’
Despite May’s protests that negotiations were looking up, the bumpy road to Brexit encountered something of a crater when the DUP threatened to withdraw support for the government if the deal to leave the EU due to wording regarding ‘regulatory alignment’ across the border which they suggested would create an effective customs divide in the Irish Sea.
The PM and DUP leader Arlene Foster have been holding telephone talks in a bid to break the Brexit deadlock over the Irish border issue.
May is battling to keep the DUP onside, who prop up the Government in the Commons, and have their support on proposals that would allow the EU to trigger the next stage of trade negotiations.
The prime minister is keen to get the DUP on board ahead of a key EU summit on December 14 that will decide if trade talks can finally begin.
The PM had expected to speak to the DUP leader on Tuesday in an attempt to resolve their differences but, in a possible sign of how intractable the issue has become, the call did not take place.
While Foster has complained that her party was only shown the proposed text regarding the Irish border late on Monday morning, around the time the Prime Minister was sitting down to lunch in Brussels with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker.
The EU insists trade negotiations can begin only after ‘sufficient progress’ has been made on the three key divorce issues of the Irish border, citizens’ rights, and the UK’s exit bill.
Today Brexit Secretary David Davis admitted the government had not conducted a formal sector-by-sector analysis of the impact that leaving the European Union will have on the economy.
Davis’s admission caused outrage and he was accused of both lying to parliament and extreme incompetence.