It was either ignorant or irresponsible for those campaigning for Brexit two years ago to claim that the Irish border would not be a problem. In fact, it may lead to a catastrophic ‘no deal’ Brexit in which the United Kingdom crashes out of the EU without an agreement of any kind.
Theresa May has told the British Cabinet that she will not agree a withdrawal deal with the EU “at any cost”. The Prime Minister said any agreement will be dependent on an “acceptable” framework for future relations in areas like trade and security, expected to be covered in a separate political declaration.
A deal on the Irish border to break the Brexit deadlock is not close, the EU’s chief negotiator said on Tuesday. Michel Barnier was speaking as Theresa May briefed the Cabinet on her plans to achieve a breakthrough in time to secure a special Brexit summit to seal an agreement in November.
Irish premier Leo Varadkar has told Theresa May that he will not accept a Brexit deal which gives the UK the unilateral power to halt “backstop” arrangements for the border with Northern Ireland. In a phone conversation with the Taoiseach, Mrs. May said that any agreement would have to include a mechanism to bring an end to the backstop – designed to ensure there is no hard border in Ireland if the UK and EU fail to reach a broader trade deal.
Irish President Michael D Higgins has said he shares the concerns of the country’s premier Leo Varadkar that there is a risk of a return to violence if a hard border is imposed post-Brexit. Mr Higgins said: “I do share the Taoiseach’s concern.”
Super-sized mice are killing millions of seabird chicks on a remote island in the South Atlantic, threatening some rare species with extinction. According to a study from the RSPB, the mice have learned to eat the eggs and chicks of the many millions of birds that make Gough Island their home.
An extended Brexit transition period is not an alternative to the EU’s backstop proposal, Irish premier Leo Varadkar has warned. The Taoiseach said he is open to the idea of an extension but it fails to resolve the border issue.
Ireland is stepping up preparations for physical infrastructure at ports and airports after Brexit, premier Leo Varadkar said. Irish ministers held detailed discussions in Dublin on Tuesday surrounding the hiring of customs officers and veterinary inspectors as well as the upgrading of IT systems.
Scottish National Party members of parliament would back a new Brexit referendum if it were put to them, party leader Nicola Sturgeon has said. Campaigners have been pressing for a fresh vote on whatever exit plans result from talks with EU leaders. Ms Sturgeon said SNP MPs would oppose anything short of staying in the single market and customs union.
Facebook is facing a potential £1.2bn fine for a data breach which allowed hackers to access the personal information of 50 million users. The Irish Data Protection Commission (IDPC), the lead supervising authority for Facebook in the EU, officially opened its investigation this week after the social media giant admitted hackers could have accessed the accounts of millions of users through a “vulnerability” last Friday.