EU must change ‘unworkable’ Brexit position - Theresa May

EU must change ‘unworkable’ Brexit position - Theresa May

Cheryl Sanders
July 22, 2018

Politicians have warned that the re-imposition of physical infrastructure when it becomes the EU's external border would anger Irish nationalists in Northern Ireland who aspire to unification with the Republic of Ireland and help militants opposed to the peace deal to recruit new members.

There is also concern that May is "backsliding" on a promise of a legally binding guarantee that there will be regulatory alignment north and south of the border in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

What this deal does is it says to them, "right, now we can have a free trading area where there won't be the need for border checks and controls".

May said that would be unacceptable to any British prime minister.

Not simply to fall back onto previous positions which have already been proven unworkable, she will add.

"She will hear first-hand examples of how people see both challenges and opportunities for their sectors as we leave the European Union".

Tomorrow Mrs May will deliver a speech in Belfast focusing on how her vision of Brexit, outlined in last week's government white paper, will impact Northern Ireland and the border.

The Irish leader claimed customs officials in Irish ports and airports will be stretched to breaking point unless a transition deal which includes provisions to avoid a hard border is reached.

The Irish border issue is one of the most disputed parts of the Brexit negotiations.

She is expected to say the European Union needs to "evolve its position in kind", adding that "on that basis, I look forward to resuming constructive discussions".

The UK still needs to come up with a backstop that works.

Her speech comes the day after new Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab headed to Brussels for the first time to take part in talks with Mr Barnier.

Mr Raab said that he was looking forward "with renewed energy, vigour and vim" to seeing the detail of the White Paper hammered out after a gruelling Cabinet conclave at Chequers.

He told the media that there are plans in place.

In further comments ahead of her visit, Mrs May added: "From the start of the negotiations, the United Kingdom government has put Northern Ireland's unique circumstances at the heart of our negotiations".

She will say: The economic and constitutional dislocation of a formal "third country" customs border within our own country is something I will never accept and I believe no British prime minister could ever accept.

"The businesses and farmers involved, the European Union, the United Kingdom and Dublin all say they have stated they don't want it, so why is it still pivotal to discussions if everyone is saying they can't be clearer on this issue?"

"She is coming two years after the referendum, she is coming two years after negotiating with her own party", she said.

Speaking ahead of her arrival, Mrs O'Neill accused the prime minister of attempting to renege on the commitments she made in December. "I always think that when people engage in name-calling it's because they don't want to engage on substance or facts", he said.

Other reports by iNewsToday