United Kingdom and EU Brexit talks to resume mid-August

Former British PM calls for new referendum on Brexit

"While Raab insisted that with political will a deal on trade and on avoiding a border on the island of Ireland was achievable by a crunch summit in October, Barnier offered a damning verdict on a major element of the UK's vision of the future", the Guardian said.

Theresa May's Chequers plan has fallen at the first hurdle after the EU's chief negotiator ruled out allowing the United Kingdom to collect customs duties on its behalf.

The EU's verdict is a blow to May.

"And I've asked the department to work up options for stockpiling by industry and we are working with industry to prepare for the potential need for stockpiling in the event of a no-deal Brexit".

Last week-end the European Union appeared to harden its position - following PM Theresa May's visit to Northern Ireland which appears to have been exclusively to placate the DUP during which she said the European Union had to "evolve" - and said Article 50 could be extended only in the event of an election or second referendum.

"First of all, are the proposals in the White Paper compatible with the principles that the 27 Heads of State and Government have defined since the beginning of this negotiation - principles which the foreign ministers recalled today?"

Mr Coveney confirmed Dublin is making contingency plans to cope with Britain crashing out of the European Union without a deal, but he told BBC Radio 4's Today that Dublin would "absolutely" back an extension if Mrs May's Government asked for it.

The Chequers strategy led Mrs May to suffer two high-profile cabinet resignations - Boris Johnson and David Davis - as well as infuriating her Brexiteer MPs.

Mrs May confirmed on Tuesday that she had taken personal charge of the negotiations, with Mr Raab "deputising" for her in Brussels.

Barnier said any customs arrangement or union "must respect this principle". That makes his suggestion particularly provocative. The Pound-to-Dollar exchange rate traded between 1.31 and 1.32 for much of this week. Such "frictionless trade" is essential for pan-European value chains - from food supply logistics to vehicle manufacturing - as well as the desire to avoid a "hard border" in Ireland.

"We're going through the most extraordinary summer and we're already seeing farmers struggling with crops, with feed for ruminants [cattle and sheep]", Wright told BBC radio. Both sides are aiming for a divorce deal in October which would then go to Parliament in the fall.

Speaking on Thursday at the same press conference, Mr Barnier re-stated that the EU's single market and its four freedoms were indivisible and could not be cherry-picked.

"This is not "taking back control", it is abandoning it, says the report, entitled Feeding Britain: Food security after Brexit and authored by food, science and environmental policy experts Prof Tim Lang (City University), Prof Erik Millstone (Sussex University), Tony Lewis (Chartered Institute of Environmental Health) and Prof Terry Marsden (Cardiff University)".

For his part, Raab put a more positive gloss on the state of play in negotiations. "We've got a template for a good relationship", he said of Mrs May's blueprint.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said the public should be reassured rather than alarmed by government plans to stockpile medicines and blood products ahead of a possible no-deal Brexit.

In the negotiations with the European Union, 80 per cent of the withdrawal agreement has been agreed.