United Kingdom 'close to Irish border solution' post-Brexit

Posted December 03, 2017

The new Irish Deputy Prime Minister Simon Coveney December 1 welcomed the reported proposal and confirmed to media outlets Dublin was in talks with Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland, which shares power with British Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservatives on the proposals.

Once the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, it'll follow different trade and customs rules than the Republic of Ireland, which is still in the EU.

As Brexit negotiations finally whir into life in the wake of the United Kingdom government's divorce bill agreement, Prime Minister Theresa May is now struggling to reconcile the divergent demands of Brussels, Ireland and her junior Democratic Unionist partners in respect of the Northern Irish border and the European Customs Union.

What to do about the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland is emerging as the main sticking point that could prevent talks about Britain's departure from the European Union moving on to the next phase.

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The border between EU-member Ireland and the British region of Northern Ireland will be the UK's only land frontier with the bloc after Brexit, and Dublin fears a hard border could disrupt 20 years of delicate peace in Northern Ireland.

The Exiting the EU Committee in the House of Commons said it appeared impossible to marry the decision to pull out of the single market and customs union with the intention to create a "frictionless" border.

The DUP yesterday warned that allowing Northern Ireland to remain in the single market alone would be "deeply destablising" to the coalition agreement.

Right now, the U.K.'s government is being propped up by a small party from Northern Ireland.

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In fact, both Northern Ireland and Scotland voted to remain in the European Union by margins of 55.8% and 62% respectively.

The party has warned British Prime Minister Theresa May that she may not be able to count on their votes, if she agrees to any Brexit solution that places barriers, "real or perceived" between the North and Britain.

This is why Donald Tusk's meeting today with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has a special importance.

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