Coveney plays down speculation of "no-deal" Brexit

So far, the European Union has said it won't adapt its equivalence system in the way Britain wants.

Dominic Raab said on Tuesday the government would ensure there were provisions for both food and medicine to deal with disruptions from a "no deal" Brexit.

But Czech state secretary for European affairs Ales Chmelar insisted there was unity behind Michel Barnier's approach to the talks.

The EU proposes that Northern Ireland stay aligned with the remaining 27 bloc members after Brexit as part of a "backstop", or insurance policy to avoid the reimposition of border checks and a risk to Irish peace gains.

As Mr Raab and Mr Robbins appeared in front of the Exiting the EU Select Committee, Eurosceptic Tory Craig Mackinlay suggested there had been a civil service "coup d'etat", while fellow Brexiteer Peter Bone suggested Mr Robbins had been responsible for a "secret" plan which led to the Chequers proposals.

"The EU can not and. will not delegate the application of its customs policy and rules, Value-Added Tax and excise duty collection to a non-member, who would not be subject to the EU's governance structures", Barnier said.

"Any customs arrangements or customs union ... must respect this principle".

Our political editor Gary Gibbon is in Westminster.

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May on the doorstep of 10 Downing Street London
Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May on the doorstep of 10 Downing Street London

The British negotiators have become increasingly frustrated with the EU's attitude to the white paper thrashed out at the prime minister's country retreat, and fear that it will take an intervention by leaders, most likely at a summit in Salzburg in September, to move the dial in favour of a deal. The divorce agreement will be accompanied by a political statement about what each side wants from the future trade deal, and there's debate about how detailed and definitive it should be.

In Brussels, officials will discuss the future relationship, the Ireland-Northern Ireland situation and the remaining issues in the withdrawal agreement.

Mr Barnier was more positive about the proposals in Mrs May's Chequers plan for a future security relationship, which he characterised as "a real step forward". He said he understood Wilson's concerns, adding: "We will do everything we can to protect the integrity of the U.K".

A community pharmacy Brexit forum has been set up by the PSNC which will see the profession's representative bodies and medicines supply chain discuss issues around the channelling of medicines to pharmacies in the United Kingdom after it leaves the European Union in March next year. Those plans are ambitious, principled and pragmatic.

"I am going to bring to (Michel) Barnier and to the whole enterprise as much energy as I can".

We have already done a lot of work behind the scenes to prepare for this - it is only natural that our European partners would seek to make similar preparations.

Other public figures calling for a "People's Vote" include former football star, Gary Lineker who has voiced strong support for the campaign to remain in the European Union and his opposition to Brexit and the way the Government is handling the negotiations. It has expired. It has ceased to be.

For the Liberal Democrats, Christine Jardine said the prime minister's White Paper was "struggling to survive".

  • Rogelio Becker