Business Brexit

Monday 25 June 2018

'Interesting few weeks ahead' warns Taoiseach ahead of Brexit draft text publication

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has warned we could have “an interesting few weeks ahead” as the EU and UK battle over Brexit.

A draft legal text of the Brexit withdrawal agreement is to be published tomorrow but Mr Varadkar warned it could still be open to political wrangling.

He told the Dáil the text “will put down in law how we can avoid a hard border” in Northern Ireland.

At this point the Irish government are satisfied with the wording and believe it will provide a ‘backstop’ to keep “full regulatory alignment” between Northern Ireland and the EU in event of a hard Brexit.

However, Mr Varadkar admitted: “We could have an interesting few weeks ahead of us as we did back in December.”

In response to questions from Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald, Mr Varadkar said the text “details exactly” how a border can be avoided.

EU sources have told the Irish Independent that the section of the agreement dealing with Ireland has come up against sustained attack in recent weeks.

The text outlines three options for how Britain can ensure there will be no need for a physical border.

The backstop options, or Option C, says there must be regulatory alignment between the whole of the UK and the EU where Britain will continue to follow the rules and regulations of the single market and customs union.

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