May's latest speech fans flames of fear of a no-deal Brexit

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Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington - effectively the U.K.'s deputy prime minister - said it's "possible but not at all definite" that the two sides can reach agreement this week.

According to sources close to the negotiations in Brussels the text of a draft deal, considered acceptable on a "technical level" to both sides, was settled on Monday night.

The members of the British government were told that the issue would hardly be discussed at the meeting beyond an update of the UK's preparedness for no deal.

Leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom is understood to be unsure about the deal [Getty Images] Mrs May was hit by an immediate backlash from pro-Brexit MPs following the announcement that British and European Union negotiators had settled their remaining differences over the crucial sticking-point of the Irish border.

Several prominent pro-Brexit figures lined up to condemn the plan, which if the leaks are representative of what has been agreed, would see most promises and red-lines promised by the Prime Minister broken or ignored. Crucially, there is the question of whether the government can command the support of the Democratic Unionist Party, on whose votes it would be reliant to get legislation through Parliament.

Brexit leader Nigel Farage was direct in his response, remarking simply that "Theresa May's Brexit agreement is the worst deal in history".

If the Cabinet meeting goes well, the European Union is expected to schedule a summit toward the end of this month in Brussels to vote on the deal.

The threat of a calamitous no-deal Brexit, in which no clear trade rules are set by March between the bloc and one of its largest economies, have weighed heavily on the negotiations.

In October, thousands of anti-Brexit protesters gathered in London to voice their concern about the UK's planned withdrawal from the EU.

"The problem is it has to come to parliament, and all we know about the views of different people across the political spectrum is a deal of this kind is not going to get through", Cable told the BBC.

But May, an initial opponent of Brexit who won the top job in the turmoil that followed the referendum, has struggled to untangle almost 46 years of European Union membership without damaging commerce or upsetting the lawmakers who will ultimately decide the fate of the divorce accord. His Conservative colleague Boris Johnson, the former foreign secretary, described the draft deal as "unacceptable", adding, "For the first time in a thousand years, this place, this Parliament will not have a say over the laws that govern this country".

The British government supplied no immediate details on the Brexit deal text, which runs to hundreds of pages.

It reported that the deal included a UK-wide customs arrangement as well as special arrangements for Northern Ireland.

The chief whip said he was confident of getting the deal through.

Labour has also indicated it is likely to vote down the deal, though their MPs in areas which voted strongly for Brexit may abstain or vote with the government.

Many MPs have serious reservations about any backstop over the Irish border.

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