Tuesday, 13 November, 2018

United Kingdom will not allow Brexit border to split off Northern Ireland

International Trade Secretary Liam Fox International Trade Secretary Liam Fox
Kenny Thornton | 10 November, 2018, 22:23

Appearing on the Matthew Wright show, Mick Fealty, the editor of Northern Ireland-based political blog, Slugger O'Toole, said Irish businesses were anxious.

In it, Mrs May writes that she could not accept any circumstances in which a proposal that would break up the United Kingdom customs territory "could come in to force".

The Taoiseach said "I'm hopeful it can be done in the next few weeks".

The Times newspaper reported that May sent a five-page letter on Tuesday to the leaders of Northern Ireland's small Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which props up her government.

This so-called "backstop to the backstop" would see Northern Ireland become wedded to the EU single market and customs union should London and Brussels fail to strike a permanent trade deal.

DUP Leader Arlene Foster at Stormont in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on November 2, 2018.

DUP leader Arlene Foster says alarm bells are ringing after she received a letter from Theresa May, suggesting the European Union is pushing for a border down the Irish Sea in the event of no deal.

Tensions between Mrs May and her DUP allies have been exposed amid concerns about measures aimed at avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland.

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The European Union's fallback proposal aimed at avoiding a hard border between Ireland and the United Kingdom would effectively keep Northern Ireland aligned with Brussels' customs union and single market.

Mr Wilson also said: "In that letter it makes it quite clear the government has accepted there will be a Northern Ireland-only backstop, that that backstop will require specific alignment for regulations, a solution which does that, and the scope of that will be carefully subscribed".

The party's Westminster leader, Mr Dodds, warned on Sky News: "I think the Prime Minister will hopefully realise what can be got through parliament and what can't".

At issue is the problem of how to avoid border checks between British Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland after Brexit enters into force on March 29.

Ms Sturgeon also said that if a deal proposed by the UK Government can not command a majority in the House of Commons, it should not mean that departing the European Union with no deal is "inevitable".

"I hope and I believe that we can secure that majority in Parliament for the agreement".

"The fact that Brexit is happening makes that hard to replicate, but our objective as an Irish Government is to do that to the extent that we can, in order to allow people to travel freely as they have done for so long now, but also to allow trade to function as it does now".

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