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May pledges to avoid hard border on island of Ireland

06 February, 2019, 12:04 | Author: Taylor George
  • Plans in place to evacuate The Queen and Royal Family if Brexit results in unrest

The Irish government insists it will not countenance making contingency plans for the return of a hard border on the island, complete with customs checks, if Britain leaves the European Union on March 29 without a deal.

The deal they seek would push Brexit back to May 24.

MPs in her ruling Conservative Party want her to renegotiate the Irish backstop, an insurance policy to stop the return of a hard border between the Republic of Ireland and its northern neighbour, which is part of the UK.

May came out against such an extension earlier on Tuesday, The Guardian reported.

The House of Commons last month overwhelmingly rejected the Brexit deal that May had negotiated with the European Union over nearly two years.

Over the weekend, Japan's Nissan said it had decided not to build the X-Trail model at its existing United Kingdom plant in Sunderland, England, canceling plans announced two years ago after May's government made undisclosed concessions created to ensure the carmaker's ability to compete after Brexit.

The prime minister rejected accusations that plans to reopen the backstop talks risked upsetting the Irish peace process.

She said "intransigence" in Brussels and Dublin was leading to a no-deal Brexit.

The Prime Minister is due to visit Brussels on Thursday to discuss Brexit with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, who has so far ruled out a renegotiation of the Brexit deal. "That is the only way in which we could avoid a hard border, that commitment needs to be lived up to".

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Downing Street sources are keen to play down any shift in position, insisting all options remain on the table including replacing the much-despised backstop.

Labour MP Virendra Sharma, a supporter of the pro-EU Best for Britain campaign, said: 'Surely this is peak Chris Grayling, only this time he's gone worldwide.

The Prime Minister yesterday vowed to ensure there is no return to the "borders of the past" as she delivered a speech in Belfast with negotiations at a critical stage.

Angela Merkel is preparing a last minute intervention to pressure Dublin to accept a hi-tech solution to the Irish border if Britain can offer one, it was claimed today.

In her most notable public appearance in Northern Ireland since the Brexit vote, Ms May suggested that an expiration date on the backstop - the agreement meant to prevent a hard border in Ireland - could be required to secure a deal through parliament.

Warnings of the consequences of a no-deal Brexit intensified last week as several multinational firms, including Airbus and Ford said jobs could suffer with an unfavourable negotiating outcome.

A group of prominent Irish-Americans has written to the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and the British Prime Minister Theresa May expressing alarm over the future of the Good Friday Agreement. "While replacing the backstop with alternative arrangements was one option, (Graham) would also be happy with the current backstop if there was a time limit or unilateral exit mechanism", she writes.

Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster attends "A Better Deal" event in London, Britain, January 15, 2018.

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