Wednesday 23 May 2018

Protecting Good Friday Agreement 'at the heart' of Theresa May's 'approach' to Brexit

Ms May said she will not let Brexit risk Northern Irish progress

Prime Minister Theresa May delivers a speech at the Mansion House in London on the UK's economic partnership with the EU after Brexit. Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
Prime Minister Theresa May delivers a speech at the Mansion House in London on the UK's economic partnership with the EU after Brexit. Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Shona Murray

Theresa May says protecting the Good Friday Agreement was "at the heart" of her "approach" towards Brexit.

Ms May said she was willing to negotiate a "customs partnership" which would apply the same standards as the EU.

In her much-anticipated speech where she was due to outline Britain’s economic approach to its relationship with Brussels she said the UK’s "decision to leave" the EU has "caused anxiety" in Ireland.

She said she would "rule out" putting up physical checks at the border between the North and the Irish state, where the UK would have similarly high standards as the EU, negating the need for heavy customs checks.

She called for a new bespoke agreement with the EU – and asked that both sides “work together” in coming up with a new plan.

She said both sides could continue to recognise each other’s trusted ‘traders schemes’ and use technology to monitor larger vehicles at the border.

Ms May said she wanted a “deep and comprehensive” trade deal with no tariffs and quotas at the EU – UK border supported by a “comprehensive system of mutual recognition.”

She said UK and EU law could achieve the same outcome so some EU laws could apply in Britain, and ruled out the UK lowering its safety and other standards.

The Tory-leaders said Britain will also explore how the UK could remain in some EU institutions such as the European Aviation safety agency and chemical agency where the UK would be willing to pay in to their budgets.

These are significantly important institutions for Britain, in particular in terms of aviation which regulates aeroplanes flying across European skies.

More to follow...

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