What Brexit means for the Irish border

01 May, 2018, 13:16 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier right at a previous meeting with Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney

Meanwhile the EU's chief negotiator urged faster action on the fraught problem of the Irish border, saying there needs to be agreement by June on a way to keep it barrier-free after Brexit. The EU says the United Kingdom has yet to propose a workable alternative. He called for a "clear and operational solution for Ireland" to be included in the Brexit deal, adding: "Until we reach this agreement, there is a risk [of no deal]".

The row erupted after DUP Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson said Mr Varadkar's visit showed "poor manners and disrespect" because "no local representative" was informed and "none of the other normal protocol" was followed.

"We have to acknowledge that the continued absence of functioning political institutions in Northern Ireland is, at least partly, a effect of concerns about, and different positions on, Brexit".

"This is an European Union issue, not only an Irish issue", he added.

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator claimed Europe had no intention of questioning the UK's constitutional order but was seeking practical solutions to a complex problem.

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Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar warned that Britain's "approach to negotiations will need to change in some way" if there is to be agreement over the issue.

Today in Brexit: The U.K. has a new proposal on the Irish border, as a June deadline looms.

The EU insists there must be a "backstop" in case the U.K.'s plans don't work - and EU officials say in private that they expect it will end up being used as they don't think options A or B are feasible.

The border issue has been one of the thorniest issues in Brexit talks between the sides.

This week marks his third visit to Ireland and Irish foreign affairs minister Simon Coveney described was a friend of the country.

Palestinian teen shot by IDF in Gaza protests dies
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"It is not OK for the British government to rule out a whole series of options and then pretend that somebody, somewhere is going to find a solution to find a way forward".

The suggestion, in a question from a journalist with the pro-Brexit Daily Telegraph, shows the extent to which the political noise in London around the negotiations on Britain's departure is making Barnier's job so hard.

Varadkar said Ireland's goal was not a united Ireland but an invisible border.

But Ms Foster, who backs Brexit, accused the French politician of not understanding the "wider unionist culture" of Northern Ireland.

The U.K.is set to leave the European Union in March 2019 but is seeking an agreed implementation or transition period, which the European Union said could not exceed the end of the year 2020.

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