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Britain says unilateral solution to Irish border issue not enough

11 September, 2017, 00:17 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • Lord David Trimble

A document, which will be published later by the EU's Chief negotiator says the United Kingdom should take responsibility for finding a "unique solution" so people can work, go to school or get medical treatment on either side of the Irish border.

Its Brexit Task Force has issued a Guiding Principles paper on Ireland in the context of Brexit negotiations today.

The second paper to be leaked to the newspaper in days states: "There needs to be a political commitment to protecting the Good Friday agreement".

The talks will carry significance for Northern Ireland food producers, many of whom sell their produce in the south, as well as Irish producers exporting to the UK.

But the Commission said it was concerned that retaining an open border between the United Kingdom and an EU state would threaten the integrity of the European single market and customs union.

It essentially puts on paper what has already been discussed publicly, including the European Union view that it's for the British to come up with solutions.

He also said that talks around the UK's withdrawal can not be treated in isolation from the future partnership it seeks to create with the EU.

Barnier insisted that the EU's new relationship will require a fresh deal, but added that a "transitional period" was also a possibility but had to be requested by Britain. "It can not preconfigure the future relationship between the European Union and the UK".

The European Commission's position on the Irish border is that the "onus to propose solutions" rests with the UK.

He has said "a lot more substantial work" was needed on the border issue.

Before a meeting with his European Union counterparts in Tallinn, Estonia, Mr Johnson first said he had "absolutely rock-solid confidence" that a deal would be reached before Britain's exit in March 2019.

The U.K. and the European Union have both said they want to avoid a return to a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland or do anything that would risk destabilizing the peace process that ended decades of violence in the 1990s.

The unnamed spokesman said the paper offers "a good basis on which to continue to make swift progress" in the negotiations.

The proposals will also include issues such as data protection, intellectual property and customs arrangements.

The UK has warned it is European Union single market rules that could force the re-creation of border posts and not British law.

"We welcome the opportunity to discuss the points that have been made to us in the evidence we have taken so far and to raise our concerns about the impact of Brexit in Scotland".



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