Brexit and the Northern Irish Border

Brexit and the Northern Irish Border

Brexit and the Northern Irish Border

Brexit talks between British and European Union negotiators have recently hit a wall over failure to agree on how much money Britain will give to Brussels to cover its financial obligations, or the "divorce bill" as it's more commonly known.

Michel Barnier, the EU chief negotiator for Brexit, on Thursday criticized the UK government for their proposals on how to deal with the post-Brexit border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, saying he was anxious that "the UK wants to use Ireland as a kind of test case for a future UK-EU customs relationship".

"What I see on the U.K.'s paper on Ireland and Northern Ireland worries me", Barnier told reporters in Brussels on Thursday.

"What we need is for Ireland to take the lead on this and work with the United Kingdom to establish a joint cyber-task force to deal with these issues post-Brexit".

In them, the EU is expected to say the onus for solving the problems caused by the withdrawal in relation to the border - like leaving the single market and customs union - remains exclusively with the UK.

The EU also published five position papers that outline the bloc's position on on Ireland and Northern Ireland, as well as customs, intellectual property, public procurement and use of data.

"This will not happen".

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London, Dublin and Brussels all agree that the maintenance of an open border, without checks or CCTV cameras, is essential under the Good Friday Agreement.

"Given Ireland's unique situation in the Brexit negotiations, a unique solution is required", the Commission said.

At the end of the third round of talks on Friday, the EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, said there had been "no decisive progress" on key issues.

Northern Ireland's border with the Republic of Ireland will be the only land frontier between the European Union and Britain once the country withdraws, expected to happen in March 2019.

Last night, Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald said any reintroduction of the Border, however much people think it could be managed or mitigated, would represent a reversal of the direction of the peace process. He does state any solution can't affect Ireland's position in the single market and customs union.

Reports say documents will demand people be allowed to go to work, school or receive medical treatment both sides of any potential border. If not, then a decision may not come until December, leaving just over a year to work out a complex trade deal.

The European commission also wants the United Kingdom to "honour their commitments under the current multi-annual financial framework" in the context of the peace process, where the EU financially supports many programmes such as PEACE and INTERREG.

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