Britain’s position paper on border with Ireland worrying: Barnier


Britain’s position paper on its future border with Ireland “worries me”, EU Chief Brexit Negotiator Michel Barnier said on Thursday.

Solution on the Irish border had to be “unique” and would require flexibility from both sides, Barnier said during a press conference for the release of EU’s new document on the Irish border issue. Enditem

“The UK wants the EU to suspend the application of its laws, its customs union and its single market at what will be a new external border for the EU, and the UK wants to use Ireland as a kind of test case for the future EU-UK customs relations. This will not happen,” he said.

He also called Britain’s position paper on financial settlement as “disappointing” and back-pedalling.

Barnier’s remarks came in a week after the third round of Brexit talks concluded last Thursday without no decisive progress, except some technical agreements on such issues as the future Irish border.

The two sides had made real progress on the question of the Common Travel Area, on the basis of guarantees by the UK, and clarified in a constructive manner what remains to be done, particularly with regards to North-South cooperation in the Good Friday Agreement, Barnier told reporters in a press conference following the third round negotiation.

Highly anticipated, the third round Brexit talks kicked off on Aug. 28 in EU Commission headquarters. There were three negotiating groups covering citizens’ rights, financial settlement and other separation issues. The issues related to Northern Ireland and the governance of the withdrawal agreement were addressed by the Coordinators.