Brexit: Time to 'intensify efforts', Irish PM says

Brexit: Time to 'intensify efforts', Irish PM says

Brexit: Time to 'intensify efforts', Irish PM says

Under the EU's proposed backstop option, Northern Ireland, which is in the United Kingdom, would effectively remain within the EU customs union and subject to EU regulations in order to avoid the need for a hard border.

"We have Ireland backed by 26 member states and the commission - this will not change".

"We will also discuss other key items on the agenda of next week's meeting of the European Council such as trade, ensuring a stable euro, and equipping the Union with a budget for its future needs".

Earlier today, Barnier stated that the EU has advanced on "some separation issues" for which European businesses need certainty - such as customs, Value-Added Tax and certificates for goods.

"I am strongly against any temptation to isolate Ireland and not to conclude the deal on Ireland".

Britain and the European Union want to keep a free flow of people and goods over the border without returning to checkpoints, symbols of the three decades of violence in Northern Ireland that was largely ended by a 1998 peace deal.

Lord Adonis, who supports the Best for Britain anti-Brexit campaign, said: "Every day that the Prime Minister spends arguing with her own Cabinet and manoeuvring to rewrite the British constitution is a wasted day when it comes to our negotiations with our European Union partners".

The President of the European Commission will address a joint sitting of the Dáil and Seanad this morning.

The taoiseach did not make the summit dinner last night because had business in Dublin with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

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Hardly. Ministers are divided over what sort of future relationship they want with Brexiteers like Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson pressing for a clean break while Remainers like Chancellor Philip Hammond want to keep as close as possible to the EU.

But there will be no withdrawal agreement without a fully operation backstop.

"A withdrawal agreement without a backstop is of no use whatsoever", he said.

"The backstop paper has been amended and now expresses, in much more detail, the time limited nature of our proposal - something the prime minister and David Davis have always been committed to".

Advances have been made in a number of areas, such as customs, Value-Added Tax and nuclear waste regulation, European Union chief negotiator Michel Barnier has said, but "a lot more work" needs to be done to meet the October deadline.

"We are woefully unprepared for the reality of Mrs May's no-deal Brexit".

The council will also talk about the political situation in Northern Ireland and Mr Varadkar is expected to reiterate his regret that no Northern Ireland ministers will be at the British-Irish Council summit.

On Friday President Juncker met Irish president Michael D Higgins at his official residence in Dublin's Phoenix Park.

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