European Union fears for Brexit deal after meeting British lawmakers

Feb 06, 2019, 17:39
European Union fears for Brexit deal after meeting British lawmakers

"If the backstop is dealt with in the Withdrawal Agreement... we will support the prime minister".

Downing Street today confirmed she will meet EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker this Thursday, when she will seek to persuade him to change the backstop arrangement.

But Tories on the ERG say it still creates too many barriers between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom - even old fashioned customs stamps could be needed - and so "to accept it with a time limit, or some exit mechanism, is still a very hard thing to do".

A majority of people in Northern Ireland voted to stay in the European Union, particularly in the constituencies along the border.

But she said that the Withdrawal Agreement can not be renegotiated, so questions about the border would have to be addressed in the Political Declaration on future EU/UK relations.

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"They have shown me quite clearly you can have no hard border on the island of Ireland and you can use existing technology".

There would also have to be no checks between Northern Ireland and the Irish Sea and Britain must be able to leave the alternative arrangement of its own accord, the MP said.

May is to return to Brussels this week to present backstop alternatives in an attempt to overcome the Brexit impasse.

In Brussels, a group of British lawmakers met the head of the European Union civil service and said Martin Selmayr appeared to indicate that the European Union might bind itself to new legal conditions. But with the risk of no-deal looming larger, by simple virtue of time marching on, perhaps behind closed doors the EU's dealmakers are looking for ways out. A no-deal Brexit would create multiple problems for Ireland, which would potentially be faced with a choice between putting a border up - an idea Varadkar rejects - and being forced out of the EU's customs union.

It seems rather optimistic though that, by the end of tomorrow, the prime minister will have conclusive proof that those kinds of noises-off make a concrete deal, or that the legal fixes being proposed by the Attorney General at home have been convincingly signed off by the EU.

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It says that if the claimants may allege that the defendants "have breached the Belfast Agreement continually from 29 March 2017" and that the Belfast Agreement "remained relevant, under article 30 (2) of the 1969 Vienna convention on the law of treaties" in respect of the border, which is under its ambit.

That in turn sparked an angry response from the backbench European Research Group (ERG), which has called for the backstop to be ripped out of the May's deal with the EU.

May is seeking substantial changes to the plan she agreed with the EU.

The suggestion, made "personally" and not on behalf of the committee, was received "courteously", he said, but Brussels is waiting for May to say what she wants.

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), which represents the travel and tourism sector worldwide, based its assessment on the forecast from the International Monetary Fund that the British economy will be 7.7 percent smaller over the next decade in a "no deal" scenario.

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Powersharing government in Northern Ireland collapsed in January 2017 following a breakdown in relations between the Democratic Unionists and Sinn Féin.

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