European Union leaders anxious over Irish border issue in Brexit talks: draft

Aaron Brown
June 24, 2018

Irish economy still growing substantially but Brexit is "a major threat", says Ireland's Central Bank High levels of household and public debt also cause for concern Ireland's economy is still showing strong growth but Brexit poses major risks, according to the country's Central Bank.

"This government must desist from overselling minimal progress as big political wins, which is what was done with the backstop in December, when we were told it was "rock solid", "cast iron" and "bullet proof" although it still remains to be agreed some six months later".

The first vice-president will travel to Rotterdam this Friday (June 22) to address a conference entitled 'Countdown to Brexit: Are we ready?'.

"We call on the UK Government in its forthcoming white paper to commit to staying inside the single market and customs union recognising that this will require continued alignment with the EU regulatory environment".

So far Mrs May has largely been able to keep them together, largely by putting off the most hard decisions, but a planned away-day in July for the Brexit "war cabinet" meant to thrash out their differences could become a new flashpoint with unpredictable consequences.

"There is no stronger evidence of how small countries benefit so much from European Union membership and how membership matters".

The European Commission president argued that Dublin and Brussels must prepare for a no deal Brexit.

European leaders meet in Brussels next week but a deal is not expected to be struck on the divorce's implications for the 300-mile border with its multiple crossing points until at least another European Council summit in the autumn.

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Mr Juncker has raised the prospect of Britain leaving without a deal during his visit to Dublin.

"Mr Juncker's claim that "Ireland is not alone" is false security for the country which would be most severely impacted by a no deal Brexit", said DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds.

"The Republic of Ireland is being used as a bargaining chip by the EU".

The government later published its proposal for a backstop plan to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland, with an ambition for it to end by the time of the next general election.

"It is extremely concerning that the June deadline has now evaporated and all focus will be on the final council meeting where there will be pressure across the board to reach agreement at the eleventh hour or face the United Kingdom crashing out of the European Union with no deal".

On Friday President Juncker met Irish president Michael D Higgins at his official residence in Dublin's Phoenix Park.

"This would only be used in very specific circumstances and be time-limited".

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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