EU Irked By British Position On Irish Border And Brexit Bill

John Mc Grane Director of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce

"What we need is for Ireland to take the lead on this and work with the United Kingdom to establish a joint cyber-task force to deal with these issues post-Brexit".

Intellectual property rights must not be "undermined by the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU", the papers state.

In a statement the Government has welcomed the paper.

Theresa May and David Davis have been pushing for talks to progress on to a post-Brexit trade deal, and have sought to claim parts of the divorce settlement the European Union wants agreed first are impossible to decide without also talking about future relations.

As it was the UK's decision to leave the European Union, it is the UK's responsibility to propose solutions in this regard.

The 1998 peace deal that ended 30 years of violence in Northern Ireland between Irish nationalists and pro-British unionists provides for a consultative role for the Irish government in the running of the British region.

"The paper recognises: the fundamental requirement to safeguard the Good Friday Agreement in all its parts including rights and north-south working, involves protection of cross-border co-operation, the Good Friday Agreement, and Irish membership of the European Customs Union", he said.

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Barnier added that the UK's plan to avoid all border controls on Ireland are "unacceptable".

It called on Mrs May's Government to make "substantive commitments and workable solutions" on the question of the Irish border.

Proposals published in August suggested no border posts or physical monitoring would be installed at the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

"The UK wants to use Ireland as test case for the future EU-UK customs relations", he said. "This will not happen", he said.

"What I see in the UK's paper on Ireland and Northern Ireland worries me", he said.

Michel Barnier, the EC's chief negotiator said, "Today's paper on Ireland and Northern Ireland is a concise and comprehensive text, which has been drafted in close cooperation with the Irish government. Unilateral UK flexibility will not be sufficient to meet our shared objectives, which is why we welcome the Commission's continued recognition of the need for flexible and imaginative solutions".

Brussels will today make clear it is up to Britain to find a solution that makes the Irish border work after Brexit, leaks from the European Union suggest. The paper on customs clarifies the status of goods circulating in the Single Market at the time of withdrawal.

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