January 23, 2018

Main » Irish minister calls for 'political solution' to avoid hard border post-Brexit

Irish minister calls for 'political solution' to avoid hard border post-Brexit

30 November 2017

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. The Democratic Unionist party, which holds the balance of power in the House of Commons, said it would not tolerate anything that decoupled Northern Ireland from the UK.

He said: "The one thing that the European Union doesn't want is a divergence in regulatory standards between the north and south of Ireland, if that was to happen then you would need a hard border".

BRITISH broadcaster Channel 4 challenged ordinary people on the street to try and draw the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

Asked whether she will meet the Republic of Ireland's demand for a written guarantee there won't be a hard border on the island of Ireland after Brexit, Mrs May said: "There is no difference between myself and the parties in Northern Ireland and the Irish Government in wanting to ensure that there will be no hard border".

European Union officials and diplomats have in recent weeks been scoping out terms for a transition and various kinds of free trade agreements - work meant to speed up the start of talks on those issues in anticipation of agreement to open the second phase of Brexit negotiations at the December summit.

"I know they don't have a border, they have two political views, with Northern Ireland connected to England, but if you put a border there, it's just going to make everything worse".

One senior European Union source said the final agreement was unlikely to emerge before the weekend as the Irish push for last-minute concessions before the progress meeting between May and Juncker on Monday.

"(Northern Ireland) will continue to trade with out biggest partner, which is the rest of the United Kingdom and I imagine that given the United Kingdom is one of the Republic of Ireland's largest trading partners that (the Republic) will want to continue to trade with us.

"If the deal is voted down we come out on World Trade Organisation rules".

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.

"Then all that money - £60 billion lying around - we could use that to help the NHS and other things and even do tax cuts".

The UK government will find this hard to sell to the DUP, on whom it relies to stay in power.

He told Irish broadcaster RTE that issues of post-Brexit convergence with European Union regulations needed to be negotiated one by one.

Irish minister calls for 'political solution' to avoid hard border post-Brexit