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Brexit talks in last stretch despite EU crunch

EU and UK officials will resume Brexit talks this morning in the hope of reaching a deal that can be agreed by leaders at a key summit on Thursday.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to update the cabinet on the progress of the negotiations, which continued through the night.
On Tuesday there were reports a deal was imminent, amid claims the UK had made concessions over the Irish border.
But Downing Street said there was “more work still to do”.
After talks ended on Tuesday, No 10 said the discussions had been “constructive” and progress was being made.
The EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, will update the bloc on the state of the negotiations later when he briefs EU commissioners and ambassadors.
Mr Johnson is facing a race against the clock to reach a new Brexit deal before the two-day gathering of EU leaders.
Any deal will need to be published – along with a legal text – if the EU27 are to consider ratifying the withdrawal agreement at their summit.
That meeting is crucial because under legislation passed last month – the Benn Act – Mr Johnson is compelled to ask the bloc for a delay to Brexit if he does not get a new deal approved by MPs by Saturday.
The UK is due to leave the EU at 23:00 GMT on 31 October and the prime minister has repeatedly insisted he will not request a delay.
But in addition to the challenges of reaching an agreement with the EU this week, Mr Johnson also requires support from Conservative Brexiteers and Democratic Unionists if he is likely to get his deal through Parliament.
Such support rests on the UK’s proposed alternative to the Irish backstop – the measure aimed at preventing a hard border on the island of Ireland.
On Tuesday evening, Mr Johnson held a series of talks with backbench MPs and leaders of the DUP.
After a 90-minute meeting with the prime minister, the DUP said “it would be fair to indicate gaps remain and further work is required”.
Earlier in the day, the party’s leader, Arlene Foster, said the party could not accept reported plans of a customs border in the Irish Sea – meaning Northern Ireland would be treated differently from the rest of the UK.
Another Brexiteer, former Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson, told the Sun he would wait to see the full details of a deal, but added that a border down the Irish Sea would be “unacceptable”.
However, the chair of the pro-Brexit European Research Group, Steve Baker, struck a more upbeat tone, saying he was “optimistic” that “a tolerable deal” could be reached.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leader of the Commons and a former ERG chair, told LBC: “I think the votes are there now for a deal.”
DBP. Let’s have a new one, a new acronym of course, because Brexit has been nothing if not a journey through collections of syllables that once might have seemed unfamiliar to even political aficionados, but now trip off the tongue.
Regardless of what happens in Brussels, a showdown is anticipated in an emergency sitting of Parliament on Saturday – the first in 37 years, if it goes ahead.
MPs will be able to back or reject any deal presented to them and there will be discussions on what to do next.
However, Mr Rees-Mogg did not confirm the sitting would happen, saying it would depend on events in Brussels.
Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats have tabled an amendment to the Queen’s Speech, calling for any deal to be put to voters in a referendum.
If selected by the Commons Speaker, MPs could vote on the amendment for a so-called people’s vote next week.
Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson told BBC Breakfast the economic hit of Mr Johnson’s deal could be worse than the financial crash of 2008, and therefore it “should be up to the public to have their say”.
Sunday Olatunji
Dele Fashomi, seasoned journalist and communication teacher, is a holder of Master of Arts degree in Communication and Language Arts from the University of Ibadan in 1992/93. Earlier, he had bagged a Bachelor degree from the same university in 1984, after which he proceeded to the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos, in 1990, for a postgraduate diploma in Journalism. He had done many courses in communication, including the EU-BBC Editing Course in 2002. Mr. Fashomi combines effectively the practice, research and teaching of communication. And to date, he has published two academic works in communication: Issues in Communication Technology and Policy (2010) and Economic and Social Issues in Advertising and PR (2013). He had his first break in the Nigerian media in Concord Newspapers in 1990 and today, he has over two and half decades experience earned in several newspapers. He has been part of many start-ups, such as The Republic (1987), The Comet (1999), The Anchor 2001 - 2002; Sun Newspapers (2003); Westerner newsmagazine (2005 - 2010) as Editor; National Life (2011) as Sunday Editor, and Newswatch Newspapers (2012- 2016) as Daily Editor. Dele Fashomi is now the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of newspaper online, which he started in July 2015. He is also into biography writing, with many books in his trail, some of which he wrote alone and one he co- authored with his mentor, Mr Dare Babarinsa, entitled:  Olabiyi Durojaiye - DARE TO BE DiFFERENT. He also guided and collaborated with Pa Olatunji Odusanya in writing his autobiography - AGAINST ALL ODDS. There are many other books in the works under his pen.