Coveney and Varadkar reject idea of time-limited backstop

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The taoiseach has also urged the United Kingdom to "stand by its commitments" to ensure there is no hard border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Reports over the weekend suggested that a withdrawal deal may be imminent, as technical talks continue in Brussels.

There will be an "exit clause" from the customs union in a bid to convince Brexiteers that it is not a permanent arrangement as May looks to secure enough votes to get the deal through parliament, said the paper. "We have always said it is better to have a deal than no deal", he said. Neither the region's political leaders nor the Irish and British governments seem in a position to restore them. It is Belfast after "breccia" will continue to obey the Customs Union of the EU and numerous rules of the single market.

The sides have moved closer to agreeing on customs arrangements under the emergency Irish border fix, sources in Brussels have said, which would keep all of the United Kingdom in a customs arrangement with the European Union, as London has sought.

"We think there are answers to the practical issues involved".

UK Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab.

Mr Gauke told a Channel 4 debate show: "If we leave on no-deal terms there's no good shying away, it will be very bad for us economically".

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"It is also the case that numerous claims that were dismissed as scare-mongering in 2016 such as the border in Ireland could not be easily dismissed and are as big or even bigger problems today than they were at the time of the vote".

The letter, published in London by the Sunday Times, said: "The business community was promised that, if the country voted to leave, there would continue to be frictionless trade with the European Union and the certainty about future relations that we need to invest for the long term".

However, the newspaper also reported that the new deal will include an "exit clause" created to convince those who support Brexit that remaining in the customs union is only temporary.

The apparent boost in remain support will be seized by campaigners who want a binding second vote taken on the terms London and Brussels reach before Britain splits from the other 27 nations in the bloc on March 29.

United Kingdom voters would vote to stay in the European Union if Brexit were put to a second vote, according to a new poll of more than 20,000 people from across every constituency in Britain.

Using a "multi-level" modelling technique, the broadcaster said 105 local authority areas that voted Leave in 2016 would now be carried by the Remain side.

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