European Union officials warned to prepare for no-deal Brexit

Theresa May looking isolated in Salzburg

Arlene Foster, the DUP leader, noting how the PM was also a Unionist, said: "What is important for us is to say to her very clearly that any impediment on the two-way access in the United Kingdom single market would not be good for the Union or the economy of Northern Ireland".

The EU suggests Northern Ireland stay aligned with its customs union and single market during that period, and there are signs the British government could accept elements of this plan.

A senior European Union official has revealed that, with just a week to go before the official deadline for a deal, there has not yet been a breakthrough in Brexit talks.

On Wednesday evening, DUP MPs abstained in a minor agricultural vote in Westminster to show they are not afraid to strong-arm the Government over proposed plans for the Irish backstop.

The Prime Minister relies on the support of 10 of Northern Ireland's DUP MPs to prop her up in the House of Commons and to secure their backing senior Tories are ready to offer them a bribe.

He added the Northern Ireland party can not be bribed and "no one should underestimate their resolve".

New British proposals over the Irish border "backstop" have raised hopes that a deal can be reached at the crucial European Council summit which begins in Brussels next Thursday.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May attends a roundtable meeting with business leaders in London, Britain, October 11, 2018.

At least three eurosceptic Cabinet ministers are said to be considering quitting over the latest concession, which appears to contradict Mrs May's promise earlier this year that the backstop would expire "at the very latest by the end of December 2021".

It will follow another Whitehall meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee, which will be attended by Mr Lidington and his colleagues Dominic Raab, the Brexit Secretary, and David Mundell, the Scottish Secretary.

The unionist leader said she feared that the European Union was forcing Northern Ireland into a deal that amounted to "the worst of one world" in which the region would remain part of the single market and remain under the ECJ, and would remain subject to trade restrictions with the rest of the UK. Michael Russell will be there representing the Scottish Government and is expected to once again sound the alarm about the damage to Scotland's economy a hard or no-deal Brexit would do. "That is why we are interested in maximising an orderly withdrawal and minimising the cost of withdrawal".

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