No change in government's position on border - Coveney

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The Commission's proposal for the backstop would effectively cut Northern Ireland off from mainland Britain, and May has said no British prime minister could accept that.

"The British Government are therefore left with only one choice".

After losing her majority at last year's general election, it took several months for May to recognise she needed to adopt a more consensus-building approach to Brexit.

That won't work for the European Commission, which wants to offer that special status only to Northern Ireland.

In what is believed to be the first such case as Britain prepares to leave the European Union next year, five Britons living in the Netherlands and two expat organisations took the government to court in January.

That could drive the negotiations towards a "no deal" scenario, which several British cabinet members have been entertaining.

"Engaging with senior business and political leaders of the Northern Powerhouse is critical to this effort: firstly, to realise the scale of this opportunity, and secondly, to see first-hand our shared ambitions with the Northern Powerhouse region".

Finding a way to avoid border checks between European Union member Ireland and the British province of Northern Ireland after Britain leaves the bloc is proving one of the thorniest issues in the negotiations.

By a vote of 348 to 225, the Lords supported an amendment to her Brexit blueprint, the EU withdrawal bill, requiring ministers to report what efforts they had made to secure a customs union by the end of October.

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Later this month, the Lords are likely to defeat the government on plans to fix the date and time of Brexit for 2300 GMT on March 29, 2019, and on issues related to the Irish border.

Now about 46,000 Brits live in the Netherlands and there was no reason "to believe ... that they will run a serious risk of being told to leave the country", he said.

The more authoritarian the prime minister is regarded, and the more she seems willing to sidestep the Commons, the greater the imperative to stop a hard Brexit surely becomes.

So what can she do?

A group of British expats in the Netherlands are taking the United Kingdom government to court over their rights as British citizens after Brexit.

This deal will need the approval of the UK Parliament before it can be implemented.

Britain's decision to leave the European Union has caused the problem of the Irish border and Britain will have to solve it, the head of the European Council said on Wednesday.

The vote, which has cross-party backing, would be non-binding but could be used by Tory whips to gauge the temperature of the Commons ahead of any similar vote which could force ministers to change policy on a future trading relationship with the EU. I wish my successor well in the work that she is doing.

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