Thursday 18 July 2019

EU would allow North back in after reunification

German Chancellor Angela Merkel Picture: REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke
German Chancellor Angela Merkel Picture: REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

Kevin Doyle and John Downing

European leaders are to acknowledge the potential for a united Ireland in a move that will allow the six counties automatically back into the EU if reunification occurs.

The recognition of a special status for Northern Ireland will be based on the situation which followed the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1990.

The guarantee of membership will be tied in with an acknowledgement the terms of the Good Friday Agreement must be factored into any Brexit deal.

Wording on the commitment is still being finalised but it is expected to be in documents accompanying the formal EU negotiating guidelines tomorrow.

The development so early in the process is likely to be promoted as a coup by the Irish Government. However, the idea of Irish unity remains very sensitive for the UK government which also faces the prospect of a second referendum on Scottish independence.

Irish Independent

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