EP is concerned about impact of Brexit on Irish border

30 November, 2017, 14:00 | Author: Irene Delgado
  • Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams said Brexit on Tory terms was bad for everyone

A Home Rule Bill might have let the two countries take their distance peacefully and gradually, while retaining close links - or maybe not, but it was worth a try. Whilst agreeing with British ministers and EU negotiators that it is inconceivable for there to be a return to a hard border with the north, Dublin argues that the best way for the United Kingdom to achieve this would be by permanently remaining in a customs union with the EU and seeking single market membership like Norway through the European Economic Area. Ireland's EU Commissioner Phil Hogan predicted another breakthrough may be imminent, which would allow long deadlocked talks to move on to the future relationship between the two trading partners. Instead came the Easter Rebellion of 1916, the Irish War of Independence, the partition of the island between the independent Republic and Northern Ireland (part of the UK), the Irish Civil War, and three decades of terrorist war in Northern Ireland that only ended 20 years ago.

In order to minimize any negative implications of Brexit on the peace process, Hayward suggests maintaining the context of the existing cooperation, which would include keeping the "soft" border, maintenance of a common legal and regulatory framework and continued access to European Union funding and programmes.

In Ireland, as well as keeping the border open, the GFA would be reanimated by a new economic agenda and a possible threat to peace on the border would be lifted. Not just financially but indeed a higher cost over many, many years.

The negotiations had descended into a war of words this month after an internal EU paper suggested that it was essential for Northern Ireland to remain in the single market and the customs union to avoid a hard border.

"In the same way as we have seen movement in the last 24 hours in relation to the financial settlement, I expect that we will see movement in this regard in the next few days as well", Ireland's European Union commissioner Phil Hogan told reporters in Brussels on Wednesday.

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Theresa May is finally cornered, and the United Kingdom may end up "crashing out" of the European Union with no deal at all.

The Department for Exiting the EU (DExEU) refused to comment on a report in The Times that British negotiators had put forward a proposal to devolve powers to Northern Ireland to enable "customs convergence" with the Republic in areas such as agriculture and energy in an attempt to break the deadlock.

"Prime-Minister May has stated categorically there would be no power borders erected by Britain, but any "hard" border will be erected by the Irish state", said Diane James, MEP representing the South East of the UK.

Mr Paisley told the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee the "pussyfooting needs to stop". Varadker is remaining resolute saying that trade talks can not continue unless the absence of a hard border is guaranteed once Brexit occurs.

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