Economy

Trouble brewing about Irish Border

Trouble brewing about Irish Border

A Conservative MEP has sparked debate with the suggestion a referendum should be held on Northern Ireland remaining in the Customs Union.

"If the United Kingdom has clearly said no to a single market and customs union, it is clearly incumbent on the British Government to articulate a way forward that enables us to have an invisible, seamless border which they have said they want", he said.

The report focused on cross-border elements of the agreement, and that "flexibility and compromise" was needed on all sides to ensure its conservation.

The UK - for its part - wants to leave the EU customs union and the single market, but also doesn't want a hard border. Such an option would probably be anathema...

Northern Ireland voted by a margin of 56% to 44% to remain in the EU.

However unionists and government ministers have strongly resisted the idea that there should be any checks on trade between Northern Ireland and Great Britain - claiming this would disrupt the UK's own home market.

"I want to see us able to move forward together into the next stage of the talks when we can look in detail at the deep and special partnership we want to have with the European Union once we leave".

"The UK would not under any circumstances want to be taking steps to harden that Border and interrupt people's daily lives", he said.

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The EU will not move on to discuss subjects like trade until there has been "sufficient progress" made on the issues of Ireland, Britain's Brexit bill, and the rights of EU citizens living in the UK.

It started with utmost honesty, with the first to take part admitting: "As a younger generation we don't know too much about it".

"Then all that money - £60 billion lying around - we could use that to help the NHS and other things and even do tax cuts". The UK has conceded that some of this will be necessary in its interim phase after Brexit, but hopes clever technological solutions can allow it have looser economic links in the long run.

One senior European Union source said the final agreement was unlikely to emerge before the weekend as the Irish push for last-minute concessions before the progress meeting between May and Juncker on Monday.

"The southern Irish have to lump it basically".

The offer of reciprocal new free trade agreements negotiated by each of them with other countries.

Some sources have urged caution about the Times report, which implies the devolution of extra powers to a Northern Ireland executive that now does not exist.

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