Number of European Union workers slides before Brexit

Education Secretary Damian Hinds speaking to host Andrew Marr

Education Secretary Damian Hinds speaking to host Andrew Marr

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier told EU ministers from the 27 other member states that "intense negotiating efforts continue", adding that the Irish border issue remained unresolved.

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.

An EU diplomat said earlier on Saturday that they were cautiously hopeful that an EU summit could happen this month to endorse the deal but that the volatile situation in Britain made it very hard to predict.

"The sharp fall in European Union migrant workers over the a year ago shows that Britain's labor market is already changing ahead of Brexit", said Stephen Clarke, senior economic analyst at the Resolution Foundation.

As fears rose that the saga will end with Britain crashing out without a deal, the pound dropped to 1.283 dollars against 1.297 at Friday's close.

She told the BBC: "There can not be a border down the Irish Sea, a differential between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK".

The biggest obstacle in the talks is the Irish "backstop" - or how to ensure that the border between British-ruled Northern Ireland and EU-member Ireland remains open after Brexit, amid fears that any reimposition of controls and checks could rekindle sectarian violence on the island.

He told Bloomberg TV he'd asked European Union negotiator Michel Barnier to work on the possibility of extending Article 50, the mechanism by which the United Kingdom leaves the bloc in March next year.

Investors are acutely aware of the importance of a deal for the British Pound and the United Kingdom economy, with most analysts saying the outlook is constructive for both provided a "no deal" Brexit is avoided.

"The Prime Minister told Cabinet that since it had last met, negotiations had continued in Brussels and good progress had been made", the Prime Minister's official spokesman said.

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"We both hope and expect a deal will be negotiated at the end of the day". The issues aren't new. "We don't have much time left".

"Our message is very firm: there can be no backtracking from that position on the backstop that Theresa May and her Government signed up to in December past year".

Exactly what such a backstop would entail, which includes the possibility of maintaining Northern Ireland in regulatory alignment with the Irish Republic, has sewn division in the government.

Reports suggest a further four Remain voting ministers are considering their positions.

This year, she said that the action taken since - including the largest ever coordinated expulsion of Russian intelligence officers - had "fundamentally degraded" Russia's intelligence capability.

Britain is keen to get a deal with the European Union and a provisional sign-off by the House of Commons before Christmas, to allow time for it to be put into legislation.

A senior cabinet minister was quoted in the paper as saying: "This is the moment she has to face down Brussels and make it clear to them that they need to compromise, or we will leave without a deal".

In the week ending november 9, hedge funds hiked their bets against the pound by more than $800 million, bringing the outstanding net short position in sterling against the dollar to $4.65 billion, Commodity Futures Trading Commission data shows.

But Mrs May is facing increasing pressure from all sides in her Conservative party over the mooted plan.

"I really can't believe it but this government seems to be on the verge of total surrender", he wrote in his column.

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