Monday 22 July 2019

EU will do 'all it can, deal or no deal' to avoid hard border in Ireland - officials

Stark warning over no deal: EC spokesman Margaritis Schinas
Stark warning over no deal: EC spokesman Margaritis Schinas
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

THE European Union is determined to do "all it can, deal or no deal" to avoid a hard border in Ireland, officials have said today.

However, they reiterated a warning that border checks remain a key risk in the event of the UK crashing out of the EU.

A day after causing consternation in Dublin by admitted it’s "pretty obvious" that a hard border will follow a hard Brexit, an EU Commission spokesperson today promised they would also work to protect peace in Northern Ireland.

"The EU is fully behind Ireland and has expressed, on numerous occasions, full solidarity with Ireland. That has not changed," the Commission said.

"We will continue to remind the Government of the United Kingdom of its responsibilities under the Good Friday Agreement, deal or no deal.

"At the same time, Ireland and the EU have responsibilities as regards the protection of the Single Market and Customs Union."

The spokesperson explained: "A product that enters Northern Ireland, coming from another part of the United Kingdom, enters the Single Market as a whole.

"That is why the backstop, that is part of the Withdrawal Agreement, is of fundamental importance. It is why the Withdrawal Agreement is the best and only possible deal available and is not open for re-negotiation."

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