Cross-border workers who commute between Gibraltar and Spain will be exempt from border controls after Brexit even if no agreement on free movement is reached with Britain, Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya said on Monday.
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.”
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.