Britain and European Union reach Brexit divorce deal: European Union commission

Theresa May and Jean Claude Juncker in Brussels on Friday

May had came close to a deal on Monday, but it fell apart at the last minute over the Irish border.

The DUP said the proposals, which aimed to avoid a "hard border" by aligning regulations on both sides, were not acceptable.

If Mrs May has managed to square off the DUP and Ireland on the border issue, it appears likely EU leaders at December 14's European Council summit will approve "sufficient progress" has been made for talks to move on to phase two, on trade.

"The Commission is satisfied that sufficient progress has been achieved in each of the three priority areas", the European Commission said in a statement.

A European Commission spokesman said there was "no white smoke yet" on Brexit negotiations.

If a hard Brexit for most of the United Kingdom and a soft Brexit for Northern Ireland is out of the running because of the DUP, and a hard Brexit for the whole of the United Kingdom including Northern Ireland is out because of the border issue, that leaves only a soft Brexit for all of the UK.

Juncker repeated that he didn't want Britain to leave the European Union - the first time a member country has ever done so - saying "I will always be sad about this development but now we must start looking for the future".

Theresa May will put forward a fresh offer to solve the Irish border dispute within hours, as the EU's Brexit negotiator said Friday was the deadline to rescue a deal. Leo Varadkar said he was happy with a draft agreement including alignment of regulatory regimes on the island of Ireland in the agriculture and energy sectors.

This followed Eurosceptic MPs urging her to lay down new red lines before agreeing to hand over any money.

Q. What happens if Mrs May gets agreement on plans to maintain a soft Irish border?

Phase two of the Brexit talks will focus on the transitional arrangements that will kick in after the UK formally leaves the EU in 2019 and the future EU-UK trading relationship.

Scotland's nationalist leader showed little patience, accusing the British government of being "totally and utterly incompetent" on Brexit.

Mrs May would likely go back to discussions with the DUP but with 27 other European Union countries needing to sign off on "sufficient progress", the deadline may fall before the Council on Thursday.

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