Brexit deal on Irish border '50/50' after 'some progress'

The talks have been described as a'staging post by the Government

Ms Sturgeon said on Twitter: " If one part of United Kingdom can retain regulatory alignment with European Union and effectively stay in the single market (which is the right solution for Northern Ireland) there is surely no good practical reason why others can't".

"If the United Kingdom offer is unacceptable for Ireland, it will also be unacceptable for the European Union", he said after meeting Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar.

A meeting on this with all political party leaders is set for lunchtime today.

Regulatory alignment could mean both Ireland and Northern Ireland following the same rules governing trade, to ensure that goods can continue to move freely across a "soft" border with no checks.

"We had an agreement this morning", Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said, expressing disappointment at the last-minute glitch.

The Irish prime minister said he is "surprised and disappointed" that there was no agreement in Brexit talks today.

Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker were forced to admit it was not possible to strike a Brexit deal on Monday after a frantic day of negotiations came to a halt because Northern Ireland's DUP had not yet been signed up.

The issue of citizens' rights has also remained a hurdle.

Calling May as a tough negotiator in his two-minute briefing, Juncker said he is confident that sufficient progress could be reached before the European Union summit slated for December 15.

Juncker described May as a "tough negotiator", and insisted that talks had not failed.

She said: "There are a couple of issues, some differences do remain which require further negotiation and consultation".

The EU and the United Kingdom are nearing agreement on some divorce terms, including the size of the bill that Britain must pay as it leaves and the rights of citizens affected by Brexit. "I'm very confident that we will reach agreement in the course of this week". But the issues of the rights of expatriate citizens and the UK-EU border on the island of Ireland defied a deal until the last minute.

If she had ignored their concerns, there's little doubt that the party's 10 MPs would have sat on their hands and not supported the Conservatives in important votes on the EU Withdrawal Bill this week.

"We will not accept any form of regulatory divergence which separates Northern Ireland economically or politically from the rest of the U.K.", DUP leader Arlene Foster said.

He added: "I still hope that this matter can be concluded in the coming days as agreed".

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