The president of the European Commission has indicated that funding for Ireland's cross-border projects will continue after Brexit. Jean-Claude Juncker said he could see no more important use of the European budget than maintaining the peace process in Ireland. He was speaking at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
The Irish government would expect to have a real and meaningful involvement in Northern Ireland if efforts to restore Stormont fail, the Irish prime minister has said. Leo Varadkar said he would not support a return to direct rule from London if time is called on talks to restore a power-sharing government in Belfast, and anticipated he would make a fresh bid for a deal in January.
British Prime Minister Theresa May told her Irish counterpart Leo Varadkar that she would propose suggestions to Brexit negotiators over the next 24 hours to try to break an impasse on the issue of the Irish border, Varadkar said on Wednesday.
Despite hopes of a major breakthrough on Brexit, talks between the United Kingdom and European Union (EU) have stalled, in large part over discussions about the Irish border. When British Prime Minister Theresa May arrived in Brussels on Monday to meet European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, there were indications a major breakthrough on stage one of Brexit was imminent.
The EU will refuse Britain’s demand for talks on a post-Brexit transition and future trade pact if Ireland is not satisfied with London’s offer on border arrangements with Northern Ireland, European Council President Donald Tusk said this weekend.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave Theresa May a Brexit boost as EU leaders gathered for a summit in Brussels, saying there were “encouraging” signs that talks on the future UK/EU trade relationship could begin as early as December.
Nicola Sturgeon has said Scotland and Ireland are allies in the Brexit negotiations. Scotland's first minister told business leaders in Dublin she will argue for the Irish border to remain open in the wake of the UK's split from Europe. She added the Republic and Scotland were united on virtually every issue of substance relating to Brexit.
Brexit divorce talks have so far made insufficient progress to allow starting negotiations on a post-withdrawal trade deal, Ireland's Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said after meeting British prime minister Theresa May in Downing Street. But Mr Varadkar stressed that there was still time for the situation to be resolved before the 27 remaining EU members make a decision on the matter in October.
The European Parliament's Brexit negotiator, Guy Verhofstadt, has said it is up to the UK to find a way to avoid new controls on the Irish border, which echoes the position already laid out by the EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier. Mr. Verhofstadt is in Northern Ireland to meet political leaders at Stormont ahead of a visit to the Irish border.
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has called for unique solutions to preserve the relationship between the UK and the European Union after Brexit. On his first official visit to Northern Ireland, he raised the possibility of a bilateral UK-EU customs union, and described Brexit as the challenge of this generation.