Michel Barnier has said the EU is prepared to offer the UK a way to unilaterally remove itself from the bloc’s Customs Union as part of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement - provided the backstop continues to apply to Northern Ireland.
Noting that the UK would not be “forced into customs union against its will,” he said the proposal would allow the UK to leave the union while maintaining all the other elements of the backstop to avoid a hard border in Ireland
The offer is similar to the original backstop proposal – which would see a joint UK/EU customs territory established in Northern Ireland.
M<r Barnier said the the EU would continue to work intensively over the coming days to ensure the UK leaves the EU with an agreement.
A former female member of the Defence Forces has been detained in Syria over alleged membership of the so-called Islamic State.
It is understood she left Ireland a few years ago.
The Department of Foreign Affairs said it is aware of reports of an Irish citizen detained in northern Syria.
It said: “Appropriate consular assistance is provided to all Irish citizens where it is possible to do so.”
Police in the North have named the woman and teenager who were found dead in Newry yesterday.
The bodies of 37-year-old Giselle Marimon-Herrera and her 15-year-old daughter Allison were found in an apartment at Glin Ree Court yesterday morning.
Police also discovered the body of a 38-year-old man, whose identify has not yet been confirmed.
Giselle is originally from Columbia, and arrived in Northern Ireland around four years ago.
Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort has been sentenced to 47 months in prison for tax and bank fraud.
He was convicted last summer of hiding millions of dollars earned from his political consulting in Ukraine.
The veteran political lobbyist appeared in court in a wheelchair.
He asked the judge for compassion, saying that "my life, personally and professionally, is in shambles".
Several parts of the country are set to be hit with snow this weekend.
Wintry showers of sleet and snow are being forecast for Saturday night, with the worst to come on Sunday.
There will also be frost and icy patches in places as temperatures drop to 0 degrees.
Sunday's set to be a "very cold day with sunny spells and wintry showers of rain hail, sleet and snow", forecasters say