United Kingdom must produce 'credible' border plan to unlock Brexit talks - Irish PM

Brussels braces for Brexit make-or-break day

But any attempt at a solution will have to convince Northern Ireland's pro-Brexit Democratic Unionist Party, whose 10 members of parliament are propping up May's government.

Goodbody Stockbrokers has today warned that diplomatic efforts to reach agreement on the issue of the Irish border will hit a peak over the coming days, determining whether "sufficient progress" can be declared at the December European Council summit in two weeks time.

Avoiding a so-called "hard border" on the island of Ireland is the last major hurdle before Brexit talks can move to negotiations on Britain's future trade relationship with the European Union and a possible two-year Brexit transition deal.

Negotiators are reportedly planning a Brexit deal that keeps the border as it is now - but that'd involve giving Northern Ireland different trade rules than the rest of the United Kingdom, which the DUP argues is unfair.

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The party has warned British Prime Minister Theresa May that she may not be able to count on their votes, if she agrees to any Brexit solution that places barriers, "real or perceived" between the North and Britain. "In the end, people are going to have to make a choice because if we're not in the Customs Union and the Single Market and heaven-forbid we don't get a trade deal, then that border will become the external border of the 27 EU member states with a third country which is what the United Kingdom will be", he said.

Right now, the U.K.'s government is being propped up by a small party from Northern Ireland.

The border between EU-member Ireland and the British region of Northern Ireland will be the UK's only land frontier with the bloc after Brexit, and Dublin fears a hard border could disrupt 20 years of delicate peace in Northern Ireland.

President of the European Council Donald Tusk signs a guest book in the office of Prime Minister (Taoisaech) of Ireland Leo Varadkar at Government buildings in Dublin, Ireland, December 1, 2017.

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