Brexit border demand: Northern Irish leaders call for clarity

Erika Holt
October 7, 2018

After a summer sell-off fuelled by a spike in worries Britain would exit the European Union without a trade deal in place, sterling has recovered in recent weeks as optimism grows that Brussels and London can overcome differences and reach an agreement.

Foreign office minister Sir Alan Duncan also expressed optimism that a deal could be reached before December.

The UK is due to finalise its divorce from the European Union next March, but the two sides have not yet reached agreement on how this will work.

"They are trying to put pressure on us but we have been clear that we will not accept a border in the Irish Sea".

The EU has urged the british government "get back to work" to unblock swiftly churning of the Brexit, hoping that Theresa May now has the authority necessary internally to complete an agreement with the 27.

"After thirty years of awful violence, we eventually got a settlement, based on the same things we were looking for at the beginning, back in the 60s - a fair and just society", Mr Farrell said.

Mrs May will travel to Brussels on October 18 for a crunch meeting with the other 27 European Union leaders to decide if a Brexit deal can be done.

"Although, if we have learned anything from Brexit it's that the timetable is incredibly flexible, to use diplomatic language", he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

A similar report - which emanated from Irish government sources - appeared in The Irish Times.

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Tusk also said it was possible to agree a deal with Britain on leaving the European Union by the end of 2018.

It could appear alongside the EU's latest contingency plans for a no-deal scenario, which will be released next week. A deal needs to be sealed within weeks if the European and British parliaments are to have time to approve it before March. Goods and services pass between the two areas easily without any restrictions.

The EU has previously had an issue with that as it fears Britain could use the special access of Northern Ireland to the bloc's single market to push goods that would not have to conform with high EU norms and could hence be sold cheaper. If it wants to strike a deal, it is "going to have to screw someone".

Avoiding erecting an elaborate border between EU-state Ireland and Britain's province of Northern Ireland after Brexit is the main potential deal-breaker.

We also need to agree on a political statement that accompanies this withdrawal agreement.

Britain's Brexit ministry said on Friday that the country's integrity would be preserved as part of any deal and that there would be no new regulatory barriers between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom unless the province's executive agree.

"He wants to tear up our guarantee to the people of Northern Ireland", she said.

"That remains to be seen yet".

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