EU's Juncker tells May - Brexit deal won't be renegotiated
EU's Juncker tells May - Brexit deal won't be renegotiated
Ireland would take economic hit in no-deal Brexit, says Irish minister
30 January, 2019, 20:58
British MPs have voted to reject the Brexit backstop.
MPs voted that they would accept May's Brexit deal if she could secure changes to the Northern Ireland backstop.
In a statement last night, European Council President Donald Tusk said the backstop is part of the Withdrawal Agreement and that Agreement is not open for re-negotiation.
"If the minister and the secretary of state are going to use their influence and say there can be no hard border across the island of Ireland, then they have to say that they will abandon the attempts to placate those pro no-deal Brexit people who are on their side and move towards a customs union".
Healy also called on the United Kingdom government to adjust its "red lines", and stressed that the backstop arrangement, to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, has to remain in place.
French President Emmanuel Macron also said the agreement was "not renegotiable", while Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said the backstop arrangement remained "necessary" despite the vote.
He urged Mrs May to "go back (to Brussels) and do what she said she would do in the House of Commons".
It was signed in 1998, ending decades of violence in Northern Ireland, and allowed the removal of security checks along the Irish border.
However, this was refuted by Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party.
The statement added: "The agreement is a carefully negotiated compromise, which balances the United Kingdom position on customs and the single market with avoiding a hard border and protecting the integrity of the EU customs union and single market".
Once again the European Union signalled that if the British government was to change its red lines on its future relationship, then the European Union would be prepared to be flexible - but only on the political declaration which sets out that future relationship.
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