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Brexit today: Donald Tusk tells Theresa May EU leaders 'not happy' with her negotiating stance after Downing Street meeting - as it happened

Prime Minister and European Council President hold discussions ahead of Ms May's speech on future UK-EU relationship

Benjamin Kentish
Political Correspondent
Thursday 01 March 2018 16:00
Comments
Donald Tusk: Theresa May’s plans make trade barriers ‘inevitable’

Theresa May has briefed her Cabinet on a major Brexit speech she is due to deliver tomorrow.

The speech, laying out the Government's plan for the UK's future relationship with the EU, will attempt to offer enough to her Remainer and Eurosceptic backbenchers to stave off potential rebellions.

Ministers said there was "broad agreement" at the Cabinet meeting.

The Prime Minister later met European Council President Donald Tusk for a working lunch at Downing Street, where she briefed him on the speech.

Elsewhere, one of Ms May's predecessors has also delivered a speech. Tony Blair used a trip to Brussels to urge EU leaders to do more to try to stop Brexit.

As it happened...

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Donald Tusk, the European Council President, is currently speaking in Brussels. He says the only way for the UK to have "frictionless trade" with the EU after Brexit - as ministers have repeatedly insisted they want - is to remain in some kind of customs union. Of course, Downing Street has repeatedly ruled that out...

Kristin Hugo1 March 2018 09:16
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Here's more from Donald Tusk on the issue of the Northern Ireland border:

"Recently, London has definitively confirmed its red lines, including "no customs union" and "no single market". We acknowledge these red lines without enthusiasm and without satisfaction. But we must treat them seriously. With all their consequences. And one of the possible negative consequences of this kind of Brexit is a hard border on the island of Ireland. The EU wants to prevent this scenario. Hence, if no other solution is found, the proposal to "establish a common regulatory area comprising the Union and the United Kingdom in respect of Northern Ireland". And, until now, no-one has come up with anything wiser than that."

Kristin Hugo1 March 2018 09:41
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Mr Tusk concludes by saying:

"There can be no frictionless trade outside of the customs union and the Single Market. Friction is an inevitable side effect of Brexit. By nature."

Kristin Hugo1 March 2018 09:42
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Kristin Hugo1 March 2018 10:10
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We're expecting a statement in the House of Commons at 10.30am from Matt Hancock, the Culture Secretary, on the second part of the Leveson Inquiry. Perhaps by coincidence, it comes just two days after revelations about privacy campaigner Max Mosley's previous comments on race and immigration, and his donations to some Labour MPs...

Kristin Hugo1 March 2018 10:19
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Kristin Hugo1 March 2018 10:24
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Matt Hancock, the Culture Secretary, is now giving a statement to MPs on the issue of press freedom.

He says press regulation has increased since the Leveson Inquiry and confirms the Government is scrapping plans for a second part of the inquiry, which was due to focus on the culture that led to the hacking scandal.

"We do not believe that reopening this costly and time-consuming public inquiry is the right way forward," he says.

Mr Hancock says Sir Brian Leveson has been informed that his inquiry will now be formally closed.

Kristin Hugo1 March 2018 10:48
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Kristin Hugo1 March 2018 10:58
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Jacob Rees-Mogg has admitted he was wrong to suggest Jeremy Corbyn voted against the Good Friday Agreement. He tweeted...

Kristin Hugo1 March 2018 11:40
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  ↵The Cabinet has finished discussing Theresa May's big Brexit speech, which she is due to deliver in Newcastle tomorrow. One minister said there was "broad agreement" at the meeting - which doesn't exactly sound like total unity...

Kristin Hugo1 March 2018 11:56

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