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05 December 2017, 02:01 | Simon Arnold
Varadkar spoke during leaders questions in the Dail on Tuesday
In addition, the committed Brexiteers among the DUP argue that if, over time, Northern Ireland diverges from the trading regulations applied elsewhere in the United Kingdom, it could create a barrier to trade within the United Kingdom and prevent Belfast benefiting from any deals London might negotiate in the future.
A meeting on this with all political party leaders is set for lunchtime today.
Despite intense efforts over the weekend to agree on a proposal on how to avoid a hard border in Ireland, Irish officials revealed on Sunday night that "there is still a way to go" to achieve a meeting of minds on the issue, reports the Guardian.
"We had an agreement this morning", Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said, expressing disappointment at the last-minute glitch.
Border agreements are still being decided in the move towards Brexit. She said negotiators from both sides would re-enage by the end of the week.
May and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker fell short of a breakthrough, despite some encouraging progress on the Irish border issue.
Calling May as a tough negotiator in his two-minute briefing, Juncker said he is confident that sufficient progress could be reached before the European Union summit slated for December 15.
David McAllister, a vice-president of the European People's Party - the European Parliament's largest grouping - said it was "difficult to predict" whether EU leaders will sanction the start of second phase Brexit talks this month, also classing the prospects of progress at "50/50".
She said: "There are a couple of issues, some differences do remain which require further negotiation and consultation".
Mr Juncker insisted that a deal could still be reached this week, having described Mrs May as a "tough negotiator".
London has broadly agreed to numerous EU's divorce terms, including paying out something like 50 billion euros.
"We will not accept any form of regulatory divergence which separates Northern Ireland economically or politically from the rest of the United Kingdom", she said. But the border issue has proved more intractable.
"It is now getting very tight but agreement at December (summit) is still possible", he tweeted.
But that task has been complicated by the DUP's show of strength, the publication of the sensitive wording from the draft negotiating text and Leo Varadkar's public insistence that the British government had signed up to a formula which the DUP found so hard to swallow.
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