12:48 GMT24 October 2020
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    The UK is due to leave the European Union on 29 March and MPs are due to get a "meaningful vote" in Parliament on 12 March on Theresa May's deal, which has been tinkered with since it was rejected in January.

    As Theresa May desperately attempted to amend the Brexit deal before it is put to Parliament on Tuesday, the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier spent Sunday, 10 March, in the Republic of Ireland watching a rugby match between Ireland and France. 

    The Attorney General Geoffrey Cox and Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay had both planned to fly to Brussels for last-minute talks with Mr Barnier on Sunday but they were called off when he made it clear he was going to Dublin.

    ​Mr Barnier smiled and posed for cameras outside stadium in Dublin with the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, again seen as a thinly veiled sneer at Britain. 

    "The talks are now between the UK government and MPs," Mr Barnier told journalists, making it clear there was nothing more for the EU to negotiate with Mrs May.

    For the record, Ireland beat France 26-14. 

    Mrs May is now counting the hours until this week's crucial votes.

    Donald Tusk posted an Instagram story showing his dog, which he pointedly referred to as his English friend
    © Photo : Donald Tusk/Instagram
    Donald Tusk posted an Instagram story showing his dog, which he pointedly referred to as his "English friend"

    If, as expected, Mrs May's withdrawal agreement is rejected again on Tuesday, then MPs have been promised a vote on whether the UK should leave without a deal.

    ​This is likely to take place on Wednesday 13 March.

    ​Depending on the outcome of that vote, there is due to be a vote on Thursday 14 March on whether to extend Article 50.

    Meanwhile ​European Union leaders were accused of "trolling" Britain after they appeared to cock a snook at Mrs May.

    Donald Tusk, the European Council president, posted an Instagram story of himself on Sunday lounging in a chair with his "English friend" — his English Springer Spaniel — a clear dig at Mrs May.

    "They are so sure of themselves. Hardly the actions of serious politicians! When did Barnier last support the Irish rugby team? And I doubt he would have watched this one but for Brexit and the need to stick up 2 fingers at the UK. Having said that who can take our politicians seriously over this debacle they call Brexit?" Bookworm123, from Buckinghamshire, commented under the publication on the Mail Online website.    

    "Shows what super intelligence is running the EU. Like a bunch of school kids," a user under nickname Wildfowler wrote.

    "Whatever they say or do we leaving," Princedilly from London responded.      

    "As if we need anymore proof the EU snouts, Goading us Leavers, He who laughs first, laughs last! Tusk is just bitter because his fellow Countrymen are all over here," Stompe from Essex wrote.


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