Brexit: 'Dose of reality needed' over new deal hopes

Cheryl Sanders
September 20, 2019

He said on Friday that Ireland would not be "collateral damage" for Britain's Brexit plans, as he poured cold water on reports that a new deal was close to being negotiated.

"We need to get credible proposals that we simply haven't seen yet", he said, adding there had been no breakthrough at talks overnight.

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Foster reiterated the party's opposition to the backstop that has continued ever since it was conceived as a fallback to prevent the re-emergence of a hard border on the island of Ireland, should trade talks following any Brexit deal fail to uphold the Good Friday Agreement.

Britain has suggested the backstop could be replaced by "alternative arrangements" - a mix of technology to replace border checks and a common area for agricultural products and animals covering the whole island of Ireland.

He said there is an onus on the British government to come forward if they have alternative proposals to the backstop.


These would include "the management of civil unrest", he said. "It's vital, whatever happens, that we prepare for no-deal".

Mr Juncker said his meeting with Boris Johnson in Luxembourg on Monday was "rather positive" as he assured he was "doing everything to have a deal" to prevent a "catastrophic" no-deal Brexit.

Recent reports in the United Kingdom have suggested both sides are moving closer to agreeing on an alternative to the backstop.

Meanwhile, Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage told the European Parliament that it was clear from the "emollient" comments by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker that a deal between the two sides was "very close".

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has said Ireland is very aware of the consequences of a no deal Brexit.

Mr Barclay's department said he will meet Mr Barnier to "take stock" following discussions between the PM's Europe adviser David Frost and Taskforce 50 - the European Union unit dealing with the UK's departure.


"That doesn't sound like a fair deal to me".

"What we won't do is pretend we are solving a problem to get past a political obstacle and then have to level with people in a few months time and say actually, the solution doesn't work at all".

The DUP MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson suggested that new arrangements to deal with cross-border trade after Brexit could involve the NSMC.

Brussels has rejected London's past suggestions for the Irish border issue and has called for a clear alternative well before Johnson attends a potentially decisive European Union summit in Brussels on October 17-18.

Coveney, Ireland's second most powerful politician, said a no-deal could lead to civil unrest and undermine the fragile peace secured by a 1998 USA -brokered agreement to end deacdes of sectarian and poltical conflict in Northern Ireland.


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