The question of Northern Ireland's post-Brexit trading arrangements, better known as the EU/UK Trade and Cooperation Treaty, has the United Kingdom and the European Union on a collision course.
The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier on Friday proposed that Britain could leave the bloc's customs union after the divorce though the offer would not include Northern Ireland which will most probably anger London.
Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal was rejected in Parliament by 230 votes - the largest defeat for a sitting government in history. MPs voted by 432 votes to 202 to reject the deal, which sets out the terms of Britain's exit from the EU on 29 March.
Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney has warned that the UK cannot afford to leave the EU without a deal. Speaking to the Today Program Mr Coveney described talk of the UK crashing out of the EU as bravado.
British Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday called on the European Union to strike a new deal to prevent a hard border in Northern Ireland and demanded Brussels quickly respond to her 'white paper' plan to avoid a damaging no-deal Brexit.
Ireland and the EU are very frustrated at the UK Government’s shifting positions on Brexit, the country’s deputy premier has said. In a special Brexit meeting taking place at Derrynane House in Co Kerry, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and his ministers will thrash out Brexit plans at the ancestral home of Irish political leader Daniel O’Connell.
Theresa May’s government is more focused on its “internal negotiation” than talks on addressing the Irish border issue, Sinn Fein’s vice president has claimed. Michelle O’Neill said any return of physical infrastructure at the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland after Brexit would be a security threat and have “serious implications” for business.
Fresh doubts have been raised over Theresa May’s hopes for a deal on future relations with Europe, after reports that her proposals for the Irish border have been comprehensively rejected in Brussels. One report of a meeting this week between Britain’s lead negotiator Olly Robbins and senior EU officials suggested that the Prime Minister’s plans for avoiding a hard border with the Republic were subjected to “a systematic and forensic annihilation”.
By Gwynne Dyer - Politicians never lie. Well, hardly ever. They're not into full disclosure, as a rule, but they know that if you lie, sooner or later you will be caught out, and then you are in deep trouble. So just change the subject, or answer a different question than the one you were asked, or just keep talking but saying nothing until everybody gets bored and moves on.
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.