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7 in 10 people in Ireland don't think a Brexit deal will be reached by the end of the week

That’s according to an opinion poll carried out by Amarách Research for RTÉ’s Claire Byrne Live/TheJournal.ie.

Image: PA Archive/PA Images

ALMOST SEVEN IN 10 people in Ireland don’t think there will be a Brexit deal by the end of this week. 

According to an opinion poll carried out by Amarách Research for RTÉ’s Claire Byrne Live/TheJournal.ie, just 8% of people think a deal will be reached by the end of this week. 

A total of 69% don’t believe a deal will be reached this week, while 23% of those surveyed are unsure. 

70% of men surveyed don’t believe a deal will be reached this week, while 10% think there will be a deal. 

69% of women surveyed think a deal will not be reached this week, while just 6% believe there will be a deal. 

Today, UK and EU officials resumed talks in Brussels with the prospects of an agreement in time for Britain to leave with a deal on 31 October in the balance. 

Time is rapidly running out if there is to be an agreement to put to EU leaders to sign off on at their two-day summit starting on Thursday.

The EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier said “technical-level” talks between officials over the weekend had proved “constructive”.

However, in a briefing to ambassadors of the remaining EU27 yesterday in Brussels, he said that “a lot of work remains to be done”.

Earlier, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told senior ministers that while a “pathway” to a deal could still be seen, there was “still a significant amount of work to get there”.

In a Cabinet conference call, he said that they still had to be prepared to leave on Halloween without a deal.

The sticking point remains the issue of the Northern Ireland backstop intended to guarantee there is no return of a hard border with the Republic.

Barnier was reported to have raised concern about the complexity of a British plan to keep Northern Ireland in the UK customs territory while avoiding the need for border controls.

There were reported to be doubts about the feasibility of the scheme which was said to involve tracking goods as they move through Northern Ireland and then determining the tariff to be paid depending where they end up.

It raised the prospect that negotiations could carry on after this week, with the possibility of an emergency EU summit at the end of the month to finally approve any 11th hour agreement.

However, if Johnson cannot get a deal by the weekend, he will come under intense pressure to seek a further Brexit delay, something he has vowed not to do.

Labour, however, has warned that if necessary it will take action through the courts to force him to comply with the so-called Benn Act which requires him to request an extension.

Either way, the stage is set for a major showdown when the Prime Minister returns to Westminster for an emergency Saturday sitting of Parliament, the first in 37 years.

With reporting by Press Association

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