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UK News 'Ireland first': May warned on Brexit talks

05:35  09 march  2018
05:35  09 march  2018 Source:   news.sky.com

Ireland calls on Theresa May to come up with Brexit solutions

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Forcing the UK to leave EU security pacts after Brexit risks the safety of EU and UK citizens, Theresa May has warned European leaders. The talks , which stretched into the early hours of Friday, were dominated by the issue of migration, amid a threat from Italy to veto the summit's entire agenda if it

By Alan McGuinness, Political Reporter A top EU figure has told Britain there must be an " Ireland first " approach to the Brexit talks , dismissing Video: Hammond makes case for Brexit City deal In a speech on Wednesday, Philip Hammond had warned the City of London's European rivals that they

  'Ireland first': May warned on Brexit talks © getty

A top EU figure has told Britain there must be an "Ireland first" approach to the Brexit talks, dismissing suggestions the contentious issue can be put off until later in the negotiations.

European Council president Donald Tusk said progress could be put in jeopardy if there was any "backsliding" by the UK on the deal agreed between London and Brussels in December.

Prime Minister Theresa May has angrily dismissed EU proposals which would mean Northern Ireland effectively remaining in the bloc's customs union.

Related: Donald Tusk: We don't want to build a wall between EU and Britain (provided by Press Association)

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Theresa May has outlined plans to set the UK's departure date and time from the EU in law, warning she will not "tolerate" any attempt to block Brexit . Gordon Brown predicts Brexit 'crisis point'. Barnier: 'Time is pressing' in Brexit talks .

moving to the Irish issues my response would be: ‘ Ireland first ,’” Mr Tusk said in Dublin after talks with Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s prime minister. “As long as the UK doesn’t present such a solution, it is very difficult to imagine substantive progress in Brexit negotiations.” He warned Mrs May against

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Mr Tusk claimed Britain had so far failed to come up with "specific and realistic" alternative proposals to keep the Irish border open without reverting to the EU's "backstop" option which has provoked such anger.

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DUP MP Sammy Wilson has warned that his party's deal to support the Conservative government could be jeopardised by the Brexit negotiations. Former DUP leader and first minister Peter Robinson also responded, saying "the south needs to wind its neck in".

Ireland has warned there will be no Brexit withdrawal treaty and no transition agreement unless Britain comes up with acceptable wording as a Little progress from 'magical thinking' in Brexit talks on Irish border. Criticism of May ’s preferred model brings cabinet customs union breakthrough into question.

Brexit Secretary David Davis has accused the European Commission of "putting the cart before the horse" on Ireland by laying out in depth proposals for regulatory alignment on both sides of the border.

He has also maintained that the thorny issue can best be handled as part of future talks on Britain's trading relationship with the EU.

But speaking after talks with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar in Dublin, Mr Tusk said: "We know today that the UK Government rejects a customs and regulatory border down the Irish Sea, the EU single market and the customs union.

EU Council President Donald Tusk speaks at a press conference after meeting Irish PM Leo Varadkar © PA EU Council President Donald Tusk speaks at a press conference after meeting Irish PM Leo Varadkar

"While we must respect this position, we also expect the UK to propose a specific and realistic solution to avoid a hard border.

"As long as the UK doesn't present such a solution, it is very difficult to imagine substantive progress in Brexit negotiations.

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On the issue of the Irish border, the official said "we are running out of time" and that there had been no agreement, in three days of talks this week, on the "crunch items" of customs and regulatory alignment between Northern Ireland and the Irish 24 May 2018. Carney warns on 'disorderly Brexit ' fallout.

One of the architects of the Good Friday Agreement has warned that Theresa May ’s failure to deal with problems Donald Tusk on Brexit negotiations: Ireland first . May sought to unlock Brexit talks after Brussels demanded more clarity on the crunch issues of budget payments and EU citizens' rights.

"If in London someone assumes that the negotiations can deal with other issues first before the Irish issue, my response would be: Ireland first."

He warned: "We have to be clear that any backsliding on the commitments made so far would create a risk to further progress in Brexit negotiations. This applies also to the question of avoiding a hard border."

Mr Tusk also dismissed the Chancellor's hopes for a free trade deal covering the financial sector, warning any agreement will not offer the same access for services as for goods.

In a speech on Wednesday, Philip Hammond had warned the City of London's European rivals that they would not automatically benefit from a deal that excludes financial services.

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond © getty Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond

But Mr Tusk said: "In the FTA we can offer trade in goods with the aim of covering all sectors, subject to zero tariffs and no quantitative restrictions.

"But services are not about tariffs. Services are about common rules, common supervision and common enforcement, to ensure a level playing field, to ensure the integrity of the single market and ultimately also to ensure financial stability.

"This is why we cannot offer the same in services as we can offer in goods. It's also why FTAs don't have detailed rules for financial services.

"We should all be clear that, also when it comes to financial services, life will be different after Brexit."

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