NATIONAL: PM faces increased pressure over Brexit talks
PRIME minister Theresa May is facing a high-pressure race against time to make progress in Brexit talks amid a deadlock over the Irish border which threatens to drag on until the new year.
The Prime Minister is hoping to make a new offer by Friday to satisfy both Ireland and the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party which props up her Government and scuppered a deal on divorce issues on Monday.
Pressure is growing on Mrs May to get leaders at the December 14 European Council summit to declare sufficient progress has been made on divorce issues so trade talks can begin, with business chiefs warning companies will activate contingency plans that will cost Britain jobs if there is further delay.
Meanwhile, senior ministers came under attack over their positions on Brexit as chancellor Philip Hammond revealed the cabinet had not yet discussed details of the UK’s preferred long-term relationship with the EU.