Brexit divorce talks between United Kingdom and European Union go down to the wire

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson opens door to customs compromise

Mr Rees-Mogg continued: "We'll have to wait and see what the precise details are - naturally in the middle of a negotiation these matters are extremely sensitive as everyone is compromising to some degree and therefore to give negotiations the best chance of succeeding it's best to be discreet about them".

European Union leaders will meet on Thursday and Friday for a summit held under the pressures of the October 31 Brexit deadline just two weeks away. But the sides are trying to achieve in a few days what they had failed to in the more than three years since Britons first voted to leave the European Union after almost 50 years.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron meet at the Elysee Palace to prepare for upcoming summits where Brexit will top the agenda.

In a meeting with envoys of the bloc's remaining 27 countries on Friday, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, suggested that Johnson is softening his stance on both customs and Stormont's consent. Downing Street said Johnson told his cabinet to brace for a cliff-hanger finish in the coming days.

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But negotiations intensified last week after Johnson and Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said they could see a "pathway" to a divorce agreement. Outgoing EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker said British politics were getting more hard to decipher than the riddle of an "Egyptian sphinx".

If parliament approves a deal, then it will rush to approve additional legislation needed for Brexit to take place in an orderly way.

Parliament will meet next Saturday to vote on any deal achieved by the PM at a Brussels summit this week.

Last week, the carmaker warned a no-deal Brexit would leave its European business unsustainable, raising concerns over the future of production at its Sunderland plant.

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He said: "I think many in parliament, not necessarily Labour MPs but others, might be more inclined to support it even if they don't really agree with the deal".

Lawmaker Nigel Dodds of Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party - which props up Johnson's Conservative minority government - has rejected one suggested compromise, in which Northern Ireland stayed in a customs partnership with the European Union in order to remove the need for border checks. "And Boris Johnson knows it very well", Dodds told Italy's La Repubblica newspaper.

DUP Leader Arlene Foster fired a warning shot against trying to keep Northern Ireland in the EU customs union, though she stopped short of explicitly withholding support from the prime minister. United Kingdom media are presenting Johnson's mooted compromise as a "double customs" plan that could be interpreted to mean that Northern Ireland is leaving European Union rules.

Since becoming prime minister in July, Johnson has pushed 21 lawmakers out of his ruling Conservative party for not backing his Brexit plans, and is short of a majority in parliament.

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UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he believes a general election could be held before the end of the year - but Mr Miles insisted the commitment to a referendum from Labour remained.

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