Brexit: UK ministers talk up Irish border compromise as key to deal

Stephen Barclay and Priti Patel insist focus is on achieving agreement before 31 October

Two of Boris Johnson’s senior cabinet ministers have talked up the possibility of securing a Brexit deal through some divergence on the rules in Northern Ireland, as the government’s rhetoric showed fresh signs of shifting ahead of crucial talks next week.

With Johnson due to meet Jean-Claude Juncker, the European commission president, on Monday, Stephen Barclay, the Brexit secretary, and the home secretary, Priti Patel, accepted the Irish border was likely to be a key to any potential agreement.

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