Via Financial Times

Key to striking deal is whether DUP will engage further today

The crucial question this morning is whether the DUP will engage with further discussions with Downing Street today, writes Laura Hughes in London.

Questioned on whether Boris Johnson will meet the DUP today, Robert Jenrick, the housing minister, told BBC Breakfast:

I don’t know the exact arrangements for the next few hours, but be assured the prime minister and his team are in intensive negotiations with all parties, including with the DUP.

We want to provide sufficient comfort for the DUP and unionists in Northern Ireland to feel that the arrangements we would put in place with this deal are sufficient to give them comfort to support it.

We know there are clearly concerns on the part of the DUP and we want to try and work through these productively in the hours to come.

All sides in this do want to secure an orderly exit from the EU, and I think one is in sight, although there is clearly very significant issues to be hammered out. Let’s wait and see.

Robert Jenrick, the UK housing secretary, said there is still a “possibility” of a deal but that it required “more hard work and more pragmatism on all sides”.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that it was a “very sensitive moment” in the negotiations.

“Movements and compromises have been required, but we are close to an agreement.

“We now need to go back and see what more we can do to persuade each side so we can get this done,” he said. “It would be a huge missed opportunity to miss this chance to get Brexit over the line and to move on with the life of the country.”

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Downing Street said Boris Johnson had spoken with Jean-Claude Juncker this morning as part of the ongoing discussions on securing a Brexit deal.