BORIS Johnson last night won a last-minute Brexit lifeline as he and Ireland’s leader declared they can “see a pathway” to a deal. The possible breakthrough emerged after the PM and Leo Varadkar held talks alone for two hours in a luxury hotel on the Wirral. No10 officials had been glum going into the showdown, which was seen as the very last chance to salvage an agreement ahead of next week’s EU summit. But in a surprise development, the pair emerged to tell waiting aides they had hit on a way through the bitter deadlock over Northern Ireland. Irish sources claimed the PM had shifted ground “significantly” on the key impasse area of customs. The major divide over whose customs regime Northern Ireland had been a red line for both leaders, should adopt had been seen as too gaping to bridge.But on Boris’s strict personal orders, Downing Street aides remained ultra-tight lipped on what the two men had hammered out and didn’t even brief senior members of Boris’s Cabinet. Instead, Mr Johnson and the Taoiseach released just a joint statement, saying their discussion had been “detailed and constructive”, and centred on the customs issue as well as how to win… Read full this story
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