"The Democratic Unionist Party is rightly anxious about the future of the Union and many Conservatives are too".
Brexit is undermining Northern Ireland's hard-won peace by creating tensions between Catholic and Protestant communities, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said Saturday, even as hopes rose for a solution to the Irish border problem that has deadlocked negotiations.
He was speaking about the speculation Prime Minister Theresa May had allegedly made a deal with Brussels allowing the creation of a whole-UK customs union.
The newspaper also said May is on course to secure an agreement on a "future economic partnership" that would let Britain keep open the prospect of a free trade accord similar to the one Canada has with the EU.
"This position leaves Northern Ireland a rule taker from Brussels".
The Prime Minister had reportedly persuaded European Union bosses to drop their insistence on splitting up the United Kingdom and separating Northern Ireland from the rest of Britain's Home Nations with customs checks in a so-called "customs compromise".
Mr Lidington replied by saying: "We're certainly. very close to resolving it".
Mr Baker said: "If we are going to regulate our own economy, if we are going to have our own independent trade policy, if we are going to be a normal independent country - which is what I understood the referendum result to have decided - then we need to be out of the customs union and we need to get out of the customs union in a timely way".
A Downing Street spokesman said Sunday the Times report was "speculation" and that negotiations with the European Union are ongoing.
"Obviously still having this issue in relation to the insurance arrangements for Northern Ireland and Ireland, and that very much remains our focus and attention in getting that deal".
He said: "The prime minister has been clear that we are making good progress on the future relationship and 95% of the withdrawal agreement is now settled and negotiations are ongoing".
The backstop is an arrangement that applies if the Irish border can not be kept frictionless during a wider deal.
"This has been committed to by the United Kingdom in order to have a withdrawal agreement".
More than 70 business leaders - from lastminute.com founder Martha Lane Fox and former J. Sainsbury PLC chief Justin King to Cobra Beer founder Karan Bilimoria and ex-chairman of Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC Simon Robertson - signed a letter arguing that both the government's current plans for Brexit, and a no-deal Brexit, would be bad for companies and jobs.