Update 2: Theresa May will convene her cabinet on Wednesday evening for what the FT has dubbed "a historic meeting" on Brexit after the UK and EU reportedly agreed on the text of a withdrawal treaty. And with the Brexit text having been agreed upon in Brussels, now comes the hard part: May has to sell it to her divided cabinet.
As the FT reports, ministers have been summoned to May's residence at Number 10 on Tuesday night for individual briefings on the text, including controversial plans for to avoid a hard border in Northern Ireland. Two ministerial sources said there would be a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, with one pro-European official saying: “We are optimistic.”
The breakthrough is a significant moment in negotiations that potentially paves the way for a November summit of EU leaders to endorse and finalize a deal, assuming of course there is no mutiny in May's cabinet. Which is why even though the text of the agreement is settled, negotiations will likely continue over the coming days as political objections are raised by London or EU member states, potentially sending the agreement back to the drafting table.
Bloomberg also reported that May's cabinet was told to expect to be asked to sign off on the Irish backstop clause this week, potentially Wednesday or Thursday. The prime minister is unlikely to press ahead with the meeting unless she believes she can win cabinet support.
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Update: shortly after Theresa May said talks are in the "endgame", the Prime Minister will hold a one-off Cabinet meeting to discuss Brexit on Wednesday, according to a U.K. official who declined to be named. Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that top ministers are being called in for a briefing at her Downing 10 office on Tuesday night.
As Irish RTE reported earlier, negotiators have reportedly agreed a text on the backstop.
According to reports, the cabinet was told on Tuesday to expect to be asked to sign off on the Irish backstop clause this week, potentially Wednesday or Thursday. Whether that happens remains to be seen.
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Another day, another Brexit negotiation story.
According to RTE reporter Tony Connelly, "EU and UK negotiators have agreed a text on how to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland, which will form part of the Withdrawal Agreement."
BREAKING: EU and UK negotiators have agreed a text on how to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland, which will form part of the Withdrawal Agreement, @rtenews understands— Tony Connelly (@tconnellyRTE) November 13, 2018
"While two well-placed sources have confirmed that the text was "as stable as it can be", they say it would not be correct to say that the negotiations have "concluded". According to both sources, there will be one backstop to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland."
It also outlines the backstop:
"The backstop will come in the form of a temporary UK-wide customs arrangement, with specific provisions for Northern Ireland, which go deeper on the issue of customs and alignment on the rules of the single market than for the rest of the UK."
And of course, the algos read the headline and bid cable back above 1.30...
The bottom line - as with so many stories surrounding this negotiation, don't hold your breath for this headline to be confirmed.
Bloomberg reports that a senior official said it would be wrong to say negotiations were "concluded", and that there was still some "shuttling" between London and Brussels.
However, if this report turns out to be true then it is a win for May in managing to garner some concession from the EU which was a key sticking point for hardline Brexiteers.