Theresa May: I stick by my Irish border pledge

06 February, 2019, 12:02 | Author: Trevor Moore
  • Britain's Prince Phillip the Duke Of Edinburgh

She noted how the Irish government had suggested the creation of annual meetings, where bilateral discussions ministers, the Taoiseach and the Prime Minister, to improve and develop Irish-UK relations.

"I heard no evidence, I heard no commitment, I heard no suggestion, no proposal, anything that would deliver no hard border on this island", Mrs O'Neill said.

Mrs May's visit, which will include talks with businesses, comes as she prepares to return to Brussels to demand the reopening of the European Union withdrawal agreement. "The current backstop... is so toxic to those of us living in Northern Ireland", she said.

"Nor do I have time for those who believe the verdict passed by the British people in 2016 should be overturned before it is even implemented", she added, referring to the rump of MPs calling for a second referendum.

She said "intransigence" in Brussels and Dublin was leading to a no-deal Brexit.

One business leader present said Mrs May left them in little doubt that was the route to a Parliamentary majority. "I don't want to see a no-deal scenario".

BiE also continue to urge both the UK and EU to put citizen's rights first by agreeing to sign a deal only on rights if no overall EU/UK withdrawal agreement is reached - known as "ring-fencing" the rights. "This work is ongoing", the Prime Minister's official spokesman said.

'It's open the Withdrawal Agreement, remove the backstop, or No Deal'.

It would mean Brexit happens on May 24 instead of March 29.

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The letter also said Britain would "seek to maintain the closest possible economic relationship between the United Kingdom and our European partners" and would try to ensure that carmakers' "ability to export to and from the EU is not adversely affected" by Brexit.

The new round of whirlwind diplomacy comes as it emerged today Cabinet ministers have considered an eight-week delay to exit day to ensure the laws for a deal are in place.

"There can be no compromise in favour of the backstop for any period of time".

UK Prime Minister Theresa May is said to secure legally binding changes to Britain's European Union exit deal regarding the Northern Irish backstop, according to her spokesperson, after Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader firmly opposed the current backstop.

"The future of Northern Ireland can not be left to majorities in England and Wales", he said.

She also emphasized the government's support for the Good Friday agreement, the 1998 treaty that largely ended decades of violence in Northern Ireland known as "the Troubles".

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe told an Oireachtas committee meanwhile that if Britain leaves without a deal "there will be trade-offs and choices that have to be made" in order to avoid Border infrastructure which the Government is resolute it will do.

The Prime Minister enraged Brexiteers yesterday by admitting the backstop can not be removed by this week's push for a new deal, only re-written. This is an act of bad faith.

Mrs May is set to meet with leaders from Northern Ireland's parties on Wednesday.



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