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    Claims That PM May Agreed to Keep UK in Customs Union 'Speculation' - Spokesman

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - UK Prime Minister Theresa May's spokesman said on Sunday that recent report claiming that May had agreed with the European Union to keep the United Kingdom in the Customs Union, avoiding a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, were "speculation."

    "The prime minister has been clear that we are making good progress on the future relationship and 95% of the withdrawal agreement is now settled and negotiations are ongoing," the spokesman also said, as quoted by the Sky News.

    Earlier in the day, The Times newspaper reported, citing sources in London and Brussels, that May had agreed with Brussels to keep the United Kingdom in the Customs Union, thus removing the Irish border issue from the Brexit talks agenda.

    According to the newspaper, May is also planning to reach an agreement on the EU-UK post-Brexit economic partnership, as she aspires to ensure free trade between London and Brussels.

    The UK government will reportedly discuss May's plan on Tuesday, as London aspires to promptly reach sufficient progress in Brexit talks, thus opening door for a EU summit for finalizing the details to be held later in the month.

    READ MORE: UK Prime Minister to Ask Cabinet for Temporary Customs Union With EU — Reports

    The United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union in a referendum in June 2016 and is expected to do so by late March 2019, while there are still certain stumbling blocks that impede talks, namely, the Irish border and the post-Brexit UK-EU economic relations.

    While European Council President Donald Tusk said in September that an extraordinary summit would be called for November 17-18 to finalize and formalize the EU-UK arrangement if sufficient progress in talks was reached, the EU leaders are currently not planning this extraordinary summit.

    Related:

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    UK PM: We Want Future Customs Relations With EU in Place by End of 2020
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    Brexit, Customs Union, European Union, Theresa May, United Kingdom
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