Monday, 19 November, 2018

May to Reaffirm Brexit Vow in Belfast Talk: No Hard Irish Border

Supporters hold up European Union flags Supporters hold up European Union flags
Patty Aguilar | 22 July, 2018, 03:28

The bloc's unelected bureaucrats are still intent on forcing the United Kingdom into agreeing to a "backstop" if the border can not be kept completely open, which would cut the province off from the rest of the United Kingdom by locking it in to the bloc's Single Market.

Her bottom line, she will never accept such a proposal and believes no British Prime Minister could ever accept it.

European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier on Friday listed many potential problems with the white paper, saying there can be no cherry picking when it comes to the single market where all trade comes under the same rule book. "But to evolve their position in kind", she will say, according to the text".

The EU's other 27 states will have a chance to examine and respond to the white paper when its General Council of ministers meets in Brussels on Friday morning.

He said that the European Union could still amend its proposals on the Irish border.

The border remains a crucial sticking point in Brexit negotiations with the European Union, amid a stand-off between the United Kingdom and Brussels on how to maintain free flow of movement across the near 500km (310-mile) frontier between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

Mr Raab said that he was looking forward "with renewed energy, vigour and vim" to seeing the detail of the White Paper hammered out after a gruelling Cabinet conclave at Chequers.

However Ms Leadsom, who challenged Mrs May for the Tory leadership in 2016 before dropping out of the race, appeared to warn the prime minister not to water down the Chequers plan during upcoming negotiations with the EU. She argued that it would also protect the gains of the Good Friday peace accord signed 20 years ago that brought the region's deadly political clashes to an end.

"From the start of the negotiations, the UK Government has put Northern Ireland's unique circumstances at the heart of our negotiations", a statement said.

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She also says it is clear that the British House of Commons would reject it.

The EU is already stepping up its preparations for a "no-deal" scenario.

"In the unlikely event of a no-deal hard Brexit next March, of course it won't be possible to have 1,000 people in place by then but we will make contingency arrangements to do whatever needs to be done in the unlikely event that should arise".

His comments follow a number of amendments to the UK's Brexit plans which saw the insertion of a legal guarantee that there will be no post-Brexit customs border between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

The British Prime Minister will meet the SDLP on Thursday evening.

Ahead of the meeting on the outskirts of Belfast, Sinn Fein President Mary Lou McDonald heavily criticised Mrs May's handling of the Brexit process.

In a swift response, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said the bloc was open to alternative proposals on the border, but insisted it be a legally watertight agreement as part of the withdrawal treaty.

"This situation is intolerable and unacceptable".

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