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Theresa May says Brexit deal still ‘achievable’ despite differences

She said it was “frustrating” the two sides could not agree how to guarantee no hard border in Northern Ireland. The issue could not “derail” the chances of striking a deal, she said. And she sought to reassure critics of her approach that the UK would not end up in “permanent limbo” tied to EU customs rules.

In the Commons, Mrs May faced pressure from both sides of the Brexit debate as she gave a statement to MPs.

Brexiteers warned of the UK being tied to EU rules, Remainers called for another referendum and the DUP demanded no separate arrangements for Northern Ireland.

Unscheduled talks with the EU on Sunday broke up over the Irish border issue with just days left before the summit which begins on Wednesday.

Mrs May has dismissed the EU’s previous suggestion of keeping Northern Ireland aligned to its trade rules as a safety net, or “backstop” to avoid a hard border, saying this would divide the UK.

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