Published On: Wed, Aug 21st, 2019

Brexit news: Ireland REFUSES to discuss UK border plans for no-deal Brexit | UK | News

Dublin has rejected the numerous UK Government approaches to discuss plans to avoid customs checks emerging on the Irish border if Britain leaves the European Union without an agreement. As part of recent negotiations, British ministers and officials have reached out to talk about managing a no-deal Brexit. But Irish sources have revealed that the advances were rejected as Dublin remains content with the EU’s current approach.

Brussels has maintained all no deal preparations are handled as a unilateral matter amongst the EU27.

EU sources have rejected the concept of a “managed no deal” and will not broker any “mini deals” with Britain to assist the country leaving the bloc without an agreement.

Dublin was concerned after recent talks between Simon Coveney, Ireland’s deputy prime minister, and Steve Barclay, the Brexit Secretary.

Mr Coveney pressed his counterpart on British plans to avoid a hard border if the Northern Ireland backstop is removed, but sources say that Mr Barclay was unable to present a viable alternative.

After their exchange, Mr Barclay wrote on Twitter: “I reconfirmed we’re unequivocally committed to the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement and that we want a deal, but Parliament has been clear it won’t accept the backstop.”

He added: “There’s a strong shared desire for a deal in London, Belfast and Dublin.

“UK seeks to work constructively on alternative arrangements for the Northern Ireland border to deliver a deal which is in both sides interests.

“But we must be clear we’re leaving on October 31, come what may.”

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He said: “There’s a long way to go. Less than two-and-a-half months may seem like a very short period but in politics a lot can happen in that time.

“So speculating on the detail of how a no-deal Brexit will be managed, it’s probably not helpful to do that tonight.”

On a potential UK-Ireland side deal, he added: “That’s not going to work. Our preparations have to be with the European Union, we are going to stay in the European Union, we have to work with our European partners if we don’t have a partner in the UK government.”

Dublin refuses to back down to Boris Johnson’s demand to scrap the backstop in order to strike a Brexit deal.

In a letter to European Council chief Donald Tusk, the Prime Minister offered a commitment to avoid customs checks on the Irish border.

He called for “flexible and creative solutions to the unique circumstances on the island of Ireland”.

He added: “I propose that the backstop should be replaced with a commitment to put in place such arrangements as far as possible before the end of the transition period, as part of the future relationship.

“I also recognise that there will need to be a degree of confidence about what would happen if these arrangements were not all fully in place at the end of that period.

“We are ready to look constructively and flexibly at what commitments might help, consistent of course with the principles set out in this letter.”

Mr Johnson this afternoon will meet Germany’s Angela Merkel, who is not expected to budge on the backstop.

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