United Kingdom and European Union close to agreeing Brexit deal, Raab says

British Prime Minister Theresa May arrives for a working dinner of EU leaders

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said there is a "real lack of confidence" that Mrs May can bring back "anything by way of a good deal".

The Prime Minister will face MPs on Monday afternoon following last week's Brussels summit.

The possibility of no deal being struck has spooked markets in recent months.

The Prime Minister told MPs on Monday the terms of Britain's withdrawal from the European Union were 95% agreed but that the "sticking point" remained the issue of the Irish border.

There must also be a route out of it so it did not run indefinitely, he said.

Sir Vince Cable, leader of the Liberal Democrats, and leaders of other anti-Brexit parties this week told Barnier to prepare for a United Kingdom request to extend the Article 50 process, in order to create more time for another referendum. So far no final deal has been reached, with some politicians fearing no deal with Brussels will be reached.

"We are in a process of negotiation".

"It is understandable that there are jitters on all sides of this debate".

"We still regard a last-minute deal as the most likely outcome but due to recent events we now estimate the chances of a ‘hard Brexit’ as nearly as high as the base case".

"We would need to put all the necessary legalisation in progress and I would not want months of highly-charged discussions which would not resolve the end". It won't be a question of a fait accompli.

French officials have rejected suggestions they could resort to a "go-slow" policy at the port of Calais if there is no Brexit deal.

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He added: "Now is the time to play for the team".

The scale of votes against the government could provide an indication of how many may ultimately refuse to back any final Brexit deal with the European Union when it is voted on in parliament.

This week, Mr Benyon sided with the Prime Minister, amid growing calls from his own party for her to ditch her Brexit plan.

Several Sunday newspapers said mutinous MPs were preparing a fresh bid to topple her leadership this week.

Other Labour and Conservative MPs believe that voting against the deal could allow them to table amendments which they could use to push for a softer Brexit or force the government to legislate for a fresh referendum.

The EU has said it is open to the proposal, but the idea has infuriated May's political opponents on both sides of Britain's Brexit divide.

"I don't think a change of leader would particularly help, particularly in the middle of Brexit", he said.

"The prospect of Britain facing shortages of perishable food and medicines provided a bleak backdrop to the cabinet discussions, as Mrs May urged her ministers to back her attempts to secure a breakthrough".

In a report on the eurozone issued yesterday, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Ireland would be the country hit hardest by Brexit. "They're about the national interest - and that means making the right choices, not the easy ones", May wrote.

"The divisions among the Tory party are paralysing the UK Government ... leading us all to the brink of a catastrophic no deal".

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