The British government appears to have bowed to the Republic of Ireland’s demand that Northern Ireland will stay aligned with key EU laws and regulations after Brexit so as to ensure that a hard border does not return to the island.
Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker were forced to admit it was not possible to strike a Brexit deal on Monday after a frantic day of negotiations came to a halt because Northern Ireland’s DUP had not yet been signed up.
The Irish government is not immediately ready to approve Brexit talks moving on to the next phase although progress has been made, an Irish minister said at the start of a crucial day for the negotiation process.
After the initial shock of the EU referendum subsided last year, Ireland’s political and business leaders began focusing on the opportunities Brexit could deliver, with Dublin touted as a new “Canary dwarf” luring thousands of banking jobs from London.
Theresa May and the Irish government have failed to reach a deal on the crucial Brexit issue of the Northern Ireland border ahead of a crunch meeting on Monday lunchtime with the European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker.
UK and EU negotiators are increasingly optimistic that sufficient agreement on the future of the Irish border can be reached in the coming days to progress Brexit talks to the next stage.
Ireland’s European commissioner has urged Theresa May to change her Brexit plans dramatically to prevent a mounting crisis over the Irish border from derailing her hopes of an EU trade deal.
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Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, has told member states that the British government has just 48 hours to agree a text on a potential deal or it will be told that negotiations will not move on to the next stage.
Boris Johnson has expressed his frustration at the failure to move the stalled Brexit negotiations on to the next phase, as Theresa May appeared to be running out of time to secure a breakthrough.