No-deal and the Irish border: extracts from the leaked letter

09 Novembre, 2018, 07:34 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • No-deal and the Irish border: extracts from the leaked letter

She wants a "backstop" measure which would create a temporary "joint customs territory" with the European Union for the whole of the UK.

Brussels will include a plan to put a customs border in the Irish Sea if there is a no-deal Brexit, a leaked letter from Theresa May suggests.

Mrs May insists in her letter to Mrs Foster that she would never allow this second backstop to be activated.

East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson attacked the prime minister following the emergence of leaked letter from Mrs May to DUP leader Arlene Foster and her deputy Nigel Dodds. To say, "because I've been incompetent in the negotiation so far I'm going to have to agree to a final backstop that could undermine the integrity of the United Kingdom, but go on to say, trust me because I'll be more competent in my future negotiation than I have in the ones to date", is a line that lacks credibility'.

In extracts published by The Times, the prime minister's letter refers to European Union demands for the proposed Brexit backstop arrangement to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland.

The EU has made concessions on the biggest hurdle in the talks - the Irish border backstop or an emergency fix to ensure the frontier there stays open regardless of how Brexit goes - but there are still differences on the life span of such a solution, a review mechanism or the depth of regulatory alliance under the all-UK backstop, which has been sought by London.

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The prime minister wrote: "They want to maintain a Northern Ireland-only "backstop to the backstop" in case the future negotiations are unsuccessful".

Mrs Foster said: 'The Prime Minister's letter raises alarm bells for those who value the integrity of our precious Union and for those who want a proper Brexit for the whole of the UK.

"The Government will not agree anything that brings about a hard border on the island of Ireland".

Brexit is expected to dominate the agenda of the British Irish Council, which also involves the first ministers of Scotland and Wales, Nicola Sturgeon and Carwyn Jones. Your letter has raised a series of issues about the nature of the backstop.

It came as Mrs May embarked on a diplomatic tour of Europe as she raced to get a Brexit deal ready to present to her Cabinet as soon as Monday.

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