As manufacturers of cars and other goods warn the Theresa May government of job losses and other impact of Brexit, a report promoted by former prime minister Tony Blair on Thursday flagged the adverse fallout on services exports and cautioned that a trade deal with India will be "hard".
Following three days of talks with key figures in Brussels, DUP leader Arlene Foster said Mrs May could not in "good conscience" accept the proposals now on the table from the European Union. It must be one of the worrying questions for Downing Street. "Such a lovely morning" is all she would say to me.
Barnier is attempting to negotiate such a deal, but time is running out and European Union leaders have made it clear that they expect Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May to come up with a way to unblock talks before next week.
London hopes to resolve the issue with a future trade deal, but agrees there should be a "backstop" arrangement to avoid physical frontier checks until that deal is done.
The radical move is one of the options being considered by the DUP if attempts to nail down a deal with Brussels include any proposals that would leave Northern Ireland being treated differently to the rest of the United Kingdom, the Press Association understands.
In 2016, Britain's surplus in services trade came to nearly £100 billion.
The DUP agreed a "confidence and supply" deal to support Mrs May after last year's general election and losing the party's support in the Commons would mean possible defeat on the budget at the end of October and a no-confidence vote.
Former Conservative leader and Brexit supporter Iain Duncan Smith warned the prime minister she should "listen very carefully" to the DUP, which he said echoed many Tory concerns.
The DUP has 10 MPs, although Ian Paisley can not vote in the Commons until November 20 after being suspended for failing to declare two family holidays paid for by the Sri Lankan government.
The deal believed to be on the table involves keeping the whole United Kingdom in an "arrangement" that effectively preserves the existing EU customs union, ensuring the goods continue to move freely over the Irish land border regardless of the future trade relationship between London and Brussels.
"They [the EU] said they think this is an fantastic deal you are getting, something nobody else in the world has even been offered", said Seamus Leheny, the director of policy at the Freight Transport Association of Northern Ireland, who was at the meeting.
Eurosceptic Conservative MPs who want a clean break with the European Union have expressed alarm at reports that, as it races to get a deal, the government may agree this alignment would last indefinitely. Dimitris Avramopoulos, the European Union commissioner for migration and home affairs, said Barnier had briefed the body on the state of play in the negotiations.