Brussels will not be intimidated by a Brexit blame game, says Barnier

Brussels will not be intimidated by a Brexit blame game, says Barnier

Brussels will not be intimidated by a Brexit blame game, says Barnier

Brussels had demanded that Northern Ireland remain aligned with European Union customs regulations once Britain leaves, in a bid to prevent a hard border appearing between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

Prime minister Theresa May had a hastily-arranged meeting with her ministers earlier on Thursday after the plans attracted serious opposition from a leading member of the cabinet, Brexit secretary David Davis.

Brussels' apparent alternative would see the United Kingdom face a choice between what would be permanent customs union membership for all of the United Kingdom, or a so called hard border between the island of Ireland and Britain, which would effectively annex the Northern Irish province from the rest UK.

The EU proposed keeping Northern Ireland in the customs union but this was rejected by the government as well as Northern Irish party the DUP, which is holding together Mrs May's minority government.

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator was giving his first substantial reaction to the U.K.'s alternative "backstop" proposal to avoid a hard border in Northern Ireland if negotiators fail to reach agreement.

PM May also faces a series of votes in the House of Commons on Tuesday 12, June on whether to approve 15 "Brexit wrecking" amendments inserted into the EU Withdrawal Bill by the House of Lords. Just as "Brexit means Brexit", paragraph 49 makes clear that "a backstop means a backstop", that is to say something that will come into operation should no other solution be found.

Over a quarter of recipients said the UK's Brexit vote made them more inclined to vote for a united Ireland.

Mr Thompson said last month the so-called "max fac" plan to use modern technology to solve the Irish border question would leave firms facing huge charges for customs declarations and for European Union "rules of origin".

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More than a quarter (28%) said that the UK's decision to leave the European Union has made them more likely to vote for a united Ireland.

The focus must now be on getting a new trade deal.

The Republic of Ireland's Deputy Prime Minister Simon Coveney said he looked forward to discussing the UK's proposal with Mr Barnier's team.

The group's chair Mark Malloch Brown acknowledged a second poll could confirm the Leave vote, and pledged that Best For Britain would respect the result whichever way it went. And amid the torturous, anorakish Brexit debate, replete with talk of backstops, a customs union, the Customs Union, a customs partnership, max fac, regulatory alignment, regulatory divergence, cherry-picking and cake-eating, it is a question that we can not let escape us.

"If we want to build a new relationship, there needs to be more trust but also needs to be more realism about what is possible and not possible".

On Wednesday reporters asked Davis if he would quit if the backstop did not have his explicit approval, replying: "That's a question I think for the prime minister, to be honest".

"Of the eight demands made in FTA's list of essentials to "Keep Britain Trading" issued at the beginning of the year, not a single one has been progressed", he says.

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