Europe 'will not give up' on Irish border backstop solution - Tusk

Marsha Scott
October 7, 2018

The British Government is expected to table new proposals in a bid to break the Irish border impasse, but a role for the devolved Assembly has been speculated.

Mrs May has rejected the EU's plans for a "backstop" to ensure there is no return to a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic, but has yet to provide details of a promised alternative.

"The open border has been a source of great satisfaction to the nationalist community and made them feel closer to their Irish identity".

He was speaking after meeting Taoiseach Leo Varadkar who was in Brussels to hold meetings with key European Union figures on finding a resolution to the Irish border backstop intensifies.

"The lesson from history is clear: if you turn the European Union club into a prison, the desire to get out won't diminish it will grow - and we won't be the only prisoner that will want to escape".

Dominic Raab was quizzed over the DUP and the Irish border. The Guardian claimed that senior Tories had been in private contact with a number of Labour MPs over several months, making the case that the national interest in avoiding a no-deal outcome was more important than forcing a general election.

In an outspoken interview at a crunch point in the Brexit negotiations, the European commission president also lamented that the former Prime Minister, David Cameron, had blocked him from campaigning during the 2016 referendum, The Guardian said.

"There is a real danger now that if a border is reinstated with checks and so on, people will believe things have gone back 30 or 40 years and the agreement has not achieved what they thought", he said. A deal needs to be sealed within weeks if the European and British parliaments are to have time to approve it before March.

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The petitioners argue that the United Kingdom should now effectively be allowed to change its mind on Brexit, without needing the permission of the other 27 European Union members.

"We believe this can be done and it is the responsibility of politicians to give the final push for a deal".

The bloc worries that London would use whatever special trade fix is agreed for Northern Ireland as a building block for the overall future trade relationship to win an unfair competitive edge.

"And we won't be the only prisoner that will want to leave", he added.

He and Varadkar, he said, had "focused on practical and realistic ways of minimising the damage caused by Brexit, on both sides of the channel".

Today, after my long discussion with my guest, the Taoiseach, I want to say that the European Union is united behind Ireland and the need to preserve the Northern Ireland peace process.

"Now you discover new problems nearly daily, on both sides".

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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