EU court may decide before Christmas if UK can unilaterally reverse Brexit

The Taoiseach has said the Brexit negotiations are entering a critical phase and that time is running out

A government source accused Brussels of "gamesmanship" after European Union diplomatic sources said a deal was "very close", suggesting the European Union was putting out positive language so it could blame Britain if no deal could be done.

European Council president Donald Tusk said his proposal for an enhanced version of the deal - sometimes referred to as 'Canada+++' - was still on the table.

Tory Brexiteers recently rallied behind a new 'Plan A+' Brexit proposal from the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), calling for the United Kingdom to push for an advanced free trade agreement and to use technology to prevent a hard border with Ireland.

Britain's Conservative government is struggling to reach a deal with the European Union on how it will leave the world's biggest trading bloc as the March 29 exit date approaches.

"Let me be very clear - Ireland will never sign up to a withdrawal treaty that does not protect the Good Friday Agreement, does not protect the peace process on the island of Ireland and that does not follow through on the commitments that have been given to Ireland, guaranteeing no future border infrastructure on this island", the Cork TD vowed.

He added said this deal would be "Much further-reaching on trade, internal security and foreign policy cooperation. And this offer remains in place".

The Scottish petitioners argue that legal certainty about the process is needed in advance of any British parliamentary vote on an EU withdrawal deal because no country has ever before withdrawn from the European Union.

"We will not see as an unintended effect of Brexit the re-emergence of a border infrastructure on this island". That would mean having the same external tariff on some goods, as the European Union now has with Turkey.

Former Brexit secretary David Davis, who quit over Chequers, said: "This shows clearly that No 10's claim that 'there is no alternative to Chequers" is just wrong.

Critics were quick to point out that Brussels' uncompromising stance on the Irish border appears to contradict this statement, as a trade deal allowing some diversion on goods regulations, unlike Theresa May's Chequers proposals, would require checks on the border.

The Brexit Secretary issued the denial as he was pressed over speculation that the United Kingdom could agree to customs checks in the Irish sea.

The president said that the European Union is offering Britain a favourable agreement that is as close and special as possible.

Agriculture Minister Michael Creed, who previously warned that there were "no winners from Brexit", said it was vital a deal be hammered out to protect the hugely integrated agri-food sector across Ireland and the K.

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