UK sets up Brexit battle over Irish border, rejecting 'unworkable' EU plan

  • UK sets up Brexit battle over Irish border, rejecting 'unworkable' EU plan

UK sets up Brexit battle over Irish border, rejecting 'unworkable' EU plan

I look forward to hearing views from businesses on the border in Northern Ireland on our departure from the European Union.

However, the prime minister will use the speech to tell Conservative MPs their job is to make a success of Brexit in practice and not just in theory.

"Guarantees were given in the Joint Report between the British Government and the European Union in December that there would be no diminution of rights as a result of Brexit, on the rights of people resident here and that the Good Friday Agreement would be protected", the leaders said in their joint statement.

Ahead of the meeting, deputy premier Simon Coveney, who will brief ministers about the recruitment of custom officers and plans for ports and airports, said the Irish Government was continuing to see "confusion" at Westminster following the publication of the White Paper last week.

Under EU law Ireland would be legally required to perform customs checks and sanitary and phytosanitary checks at the border to protect public health, trading standards and revenues.

May has proposed instead that any backstop should apply to the whole of the UK.

During her visit, the prime minister is also due to speak to young people in Belfast about Northern Ireland's future.

And she took a swipe at former foreign secretary Boris Johnson's claim - repeated in his resignation speech to the Commons on Wednesday - that technological solutions could be used to avoid the need for infrastructure at the border.

The bloc's unelected bureaucrats are still intent on forcing the United Kingdom into agreeing to a "backstop" if the border can not be kept completely open, which would cut the province off from the rest of the United Kingdom by locking it in to the bloc's Single Market.

The EU moved to calm Irish fears over the consequences of a no deal.

It urged the remaining 27 member states to prepare for a chaotic Brexit, noting that customs arrangements, airline agreements and arrangements for financial transactions could end suddenly without any new plans being put in place. "If we are in a no-deal scenario then we will lay out the consequences for the public".

She also says it is clear that the British House of Commons would reject it. "The priority is Ireland and getting the withdrawal agreement over the line for autumn". "I always think that when people engage in name-calling it's because they don't want to engage on substance or facts", he said.

However Ms Leadsom, who challenged Mrs May for the Tory leadership in 2016 before dropping out of the race, appeared to warn the prime minister not to water down the Chequers plan during upcoming negotiations with the EU.

"Guarantees were given in the Joint Report between the British Government and the European Union in December that there would be no diminution of rights as a result of Brexit, on the rights of people resident here and that the Good Friday Agreement would be protected".

The first stop in May's visit was the border village of Belleek in Fermanagh, the home county of pro-British Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster, whose party provides 10 votes in Britain's lower house of parliament that May needs to govern.