Even the EU's backstop hardens the Irish border, warns expert — BREXIT BOMBSHELL

02 May, 2018, 02:18 | Author: Sally Reid
  • Brexit news vote latest UK EU referendum Lords BBC

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, confirmed this during a visit to Derry this morning.

Mr Barnier called for new proposals from the British to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland and warned that unless there was a new proposal beyond the so-called backstop option to keep Northern Ireland under European Union economic rules, there was a danger that negotiation could collapse.

He says there will be no Brexit deal, if there is no deal on this. A guide pointed out areas of the Bogside where the Bloody Sunday victims were killed in January 1972. "I am ready to explain this solution to everybody", Mr Barnier said.

He said implications for research funding was discussed in the meeting, which lasted about one hour.

"On the one hand, while they say they don't want a hard border in Ireland, I think what it does do is send a signal to the constituencies that are living adjacent to the border that maybe they don't care too much".

Mr Barnier said he was delighted to be in the "historic and vibrant" city of Derry, and said he had already enjoyed a walk on the Peace Bridge.

A DUP councillor has questioned if councils were treated differently during the visit of Michel Barnier to Northern Ireland.

But Mr Nicholson said unionists would "take no lessons in terms of manners" from convicted IRA bomber Ms Anderson, adding her past offences are "evidence of more than mere bad manners".

Perhaps she thinks the French politician needs a crash course in history.

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Following today's meeting, Ulster University's Magee Provost, Malachy O'Neill said the discussion had been frank and open.

"I am the negotiator for the 27".

He said: "We don't want things going backwards".

"And for some of them, particularly their MPs, they may view that as a job done".

Both Mrs Dodds and Mr Nicholson welcomed Mr Barnier's visit but expressed disappointment that it was announced by Sinn Féin MP, Elisha McCallion. Is Mid Ulster looked upon by the Commission as a lesser part of Northern Ireland? She may wish to miss out the day in 1988 when her party's founder, the Rev Ian Paisley, displayed the extent of his cultural understanding by shouting "I renounce you as the Antichrist" during a 1988 speech to the European Parliament by Pope John Paul II about shared Christian values.

"I certainly meet Michel Barnier on a very regular basis and debate with him in the Strasbourg chamber".

Katy Hayward, a leading academic whose recent work focuses on the Irish border, said even the EU's solution come with a degree of hardening of the border between the Republic and Northern Ireland.

"The UK has made a decision to leave the European policies", he said, "but we can maintain this co-operation thanks to the Interreg programme and in my view thanks to the peace programme".

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