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Barnier says United Kingdom must devise a "unique solution" to border issue

11 September, 2017, 00:18 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Concrete progress’ made Brexit border crossings could take seconds

The EU said it was committed to avoiding a hard border between the North and South and said the common travel area and Good Friday agreement must be protected.

European Union negotiator Michel Barnier is due to unveil new negotiating position papers later today including his latest thinking on Ireland.

"The UK wants the EU to suspend the application of its laws, the customs union and the single market".

The EU is publishing a series of Brexit position papers this week, including one on the Irish border, that set out their approach to some of the issues under negotiation.

Under the plans, people will be able to work, go to school and receive medical treatment either side of the Irish border.

In a positive sign for Britain, the European Union published four other papers including several that projected the UK's trade relations with Europe after Brexit.

Barnier said that the position paper worries him.

"This will not happen", Barnier added. If that border becomes the border of the customs union and the single market, then it will be up to the European Union and the Republic of Ireland as a member state, to secure that border.

In its position paper last month, London said the issue of how goods and people will move across the Irish frontier can not be separated from discussion about wider customs arrangements between Britain and the European Union.

"We understand, of course, that the conclusion we get will be dependent to some extent on all the other decisions on borders - so how much special arrangement we have to make will depend on how open the borders are generally".

It will also, Michel Barnier said, be the guide for whether the Commission feels "sufficient progress" has been made on the Irish issues to move on to phase two. More than 130 worldwide Market Advisors from Enterprise Ireland's 33 overseas offices have returned to Ireland to participate in 2,000 client company meetings, advising Irish companies on global export opportunities and how to diversify into new markets in response to Brexit.

Mr. Hain, who was London's man in Hillsborough when both the St. Andrews Agreement was brokered and Sinn Féin endorsed policing and justice for the first time, made the comments during a debate on Brexit and UK-Irish relations, in the British House of Lords on Tuesday.

"I've been very disappointed by the United Kingdom position as expressed last week, it seems to be backtracking on the initial commitments", the French politician said, reiterating London needs to respect financial commitments that go beyond the Brexit date.

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