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Theresa May secures ‘secret Brexit deal which will keep UK in customs union’

Theresa May has reportedly secured a ‘secret’ Brexit deal that will keep all of the UK in a customs union and avoid a hard border with Northern Ireland.

According to the Sunday Times, the private concessions will prevent the need for Northern Ireland to be treated differently to the rest of the UK – and avoid an Irish backstop.

The publication states that the arrangement will will also include an ‘exit clause’ that will aim at convincing Brexiteers that remaining in the customs union is only temporary.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by James Gourley/REX/Shutterstock (9446896bf) Theresa May Prime Minister Theresa May speech on UK's future economic partnership with the EU, London, UK - 02 Mar 2018

Theresa May has reportedly secured a ‘secret’ Brexit deal (Picture: Rex Features)

It is said that the Prime Minister hopes the agreement will placate remain-backing Tories and win over some Labour MPs.

The Sunday Times also adds that preparations for a final deal are more advanced than currently publicised, with a document of 50 pages or more potentially on the cards.

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The publication added that Mrs May’s cabinet could be discussing the plans on Tuesday and are hoping to make enough progree by Friday for the EU to announce a special summit.

Downing Street has called the reports speculation, but also claim that the majority of the UK’s Brexit plan had already been agreed.

A spokesperson said: ‘The prime minister has been clear that we are making good progress on the future relationship and 95 percent of the withdrawal agreement is now settled and negotiations are ongoing.’

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Mark Thomas/REX/Shutterstock (9935983c) British Prime Minister, Theresa May, leaves Downing Street to go to the House of Commons for Prime Minister's Questions. Later she will travel to Brussels for talks about Brexit with the EU27 Theresa May, London, UK-17th Oct 2018

Downing Street have dismissed the reports as ‘speculation’ (Picture: Rex Features)

The flag has 12 yellow stars; but this flag has five missing or broken. Today the European community faces major challenges. Some countries want to join to take advantage of the funds provided by the most powerful members and these want to leave the union because are tired of supporting the more needed countries.

The Prime Minister has been trying to avoid a Irish backstop once the UK leaves the EU (Picture: Getty Images)

Reports of a secret Brexit deal come just as more than 70 business leaders signed a letter calling for a second referendum after warning that a bad deal could threaten the UK jobs industry.

Chief Executives from Waterstones, Innocent Drinks and Lastminute.com stated that the UK faces either a ‘blindfold or a destructive hard Brexit’ in the note.

‘They will be bad for business and bad for working people,’ the letter said.

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‘Given that neither was on the ballot in 2016, we believe the ultimate choice should be handed back to the public with a People’s Vote.’

Other people who put their name to the letter include Cobra Beer founder Lord Bilimoria, former Marks and Spencer chairman and ex-Labour peer Lord Myners, Alex Chesterman, founder of the Zoopla property website, and Sir Simon Robertson, the ex-chairman of Rolls-Royce.

The signatories are  all acting in personal capacities.

But the government’s Brexit department stated that they are confident there will be a deal that works for businesses – and reiterated their stance against a People’s Vote.

‘The people of the United Kingdom have already had their say in one of the biggest democratic exercises this country has ever seen and the prime minister has made it clear that there is not going to be a second referendum,’ a spokesman said.

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