Published: Sun, December 03, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Brexit Border Deal Could Threaten The UK Government

Brexit Border Deal Could Threaten The UK Government

The issue is a major sticking point in the negotiations and must be dealt with before trade talks can begin.

Negotiators are reportedly planning a Brexit deal that keeps the border as it is now - but that'd involve giving Northern Ireland different trade rules than the rest of the United Kingdom, which the DUP argues is unfair.

Britain in the coming days needs to demonstrate "sufficient progress" on three key European Union conditions - a financial settlement, rights of expatriate citizens and the Irish border - for leaders to give a green light to trade talks at a summit on 14-15 December. Owen Bennett Jones has been discussing the issue with the British MP, Crispin Blunt, and Radek Sikorski, the former Foreign Minister of Poland.

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"If there is any hint that in order to placate Dublin and the European Union they're prepared to have Northern Ireland treated differently to the rest of the United Kingdom, then they can't rely on our vote", DUP member of parliament Sammy Wilson said in an interview with the BBC.

But any attempt at a solution will have to convince Northern Ireland's pro-Brexit Democratic Unionist Party, whose 10 members of parliament are propping up May's government.

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.

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Tensions between and within the British and Irish Governments escalated November 17 when Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar demanded London provide written assurances no hard border will be erected between the Republic and Northern Ireland, threatening to veto any UK-EU trade agreement not excluding the possibility.

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 European Council President Donald Tusk is due to meet the Taoiseach in Dublin tomorrow ahead of what will be an extremely busy weekend.

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"If the United Kingdom offer is unacceptable for Ireland it will also be unacceptable for the European Union".

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