The Strategist

Ireland is afraid of a catastrophic Brexit

05/18/2018 - 10:12

The Prime Minister of Ireland, Leo Varadkar, expressed serious doubts about future negotiations on the Brexit issue on Thursday morning, suggesting that the UK risks leaving the EU without a deal if the government argument lasts until June.

Oast House Archive
Oast House Archive
Speaking before the meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May, the Prime Minister told reporters in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria: "We doubt that we will have an exit agreement."

A few weeks before the summit of the European Council in June, Britain agreed on a solution that would avoid a tight boundary between Northern Ireland and Ireland. However, the government could not offer any potential solutions in Brussels, as in May's office there was a conflict over the best solution.

Failure to avoid a tight border in Ireland would mean that the EU has not formally signed an exit agreement. This would mean that the UK would leave the EU in March next year without a transition period.

"We need to know that the exit agreement is legally effective, but we do not see anything that would be remotely suited to this description." We need this support mechanism, because it ensures that our island does not have a tight border. The Kingdom will want to present alternatives to this or some alternative future relationship between the UK and the EU; we are ready to consider this option, but we must see it written in black and white," Varadkar said.

On Thursday, there were several reports that the UK is ready to expand its membership in the customs union long before December 2020, when the transition period is over, in order to gain time for the introduction of new customs proposals and to avoid a tight border in Ireland.

But the British negotiators have not yet put forward a single proposal in Brussels, where the negotiators may have serious objections to the plans.

The United Kingdom should conclude a final agreement on the timing of the agreement to withdraw in October, but the EU and Britain expect significant progress at the council's summit in June, which at the moment seems questionable.

"As the Deputy Prime Minister Simon Coveney has repeatedly said, the European Council expects progress in June. The deadline for the withdrawal agreement is of course October, but if we do not make significant progress by June, we should seriously question whether an agreement about the exit will be concluded at all," Varadkar said.


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