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Barnier Throws Spanner In The Works

On Wednesday Sterling rose half a percent after European Union Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier signalled progress on a deal with the UK over its withdrawal from the bloc, as well as on the crucial Irish border question.

Barnier said 80-85 percent of the withdrawal deal was agreed.

However, this morning the pound has dropped by 0.4% against the euro after Barnier has laid out his latest Brexit offer to Theresa May in a speech to business leaders but the deal would involve customs checks on goods shipped from the rest of the UK to Northern Ireland and block Britain’s search for new trading partners.

Under the Barnier proposals Britain effectively stays in the customs union temporarily and would continue to apply the EU’s external tariffs.

The UK would be unable to strike its own deals with global trading partners during this period which could be longer than the planned transition timeline.

Mr Barnier also wants Northern Ireland to stay in the EU single market after Brexit, a proposal which threatens Mrs May’s key alliance with the DUP.

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