European Union has legal obligation to discuss future United Kingdom trade deal

Trevor Jackson
September 10, 2017

Details will be published by Europe's chief negotiator Michel Barnier in a position paper later.

Some of Britain's largest companies have been approached by the United Kingdom government for backing over the approach to Brexit. It could mean two different Brexit deals will be struck. In the first paper, London makes clear that it wants the Irish border to be invisible.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has called on Britain to remain in "an extended customs union and single market" after it leaves the European Union, to avoid a hardening of the Border.

Mr Barnier's team also said Irish citizens living in the North must keep their rights as European Union citizens.

But unionists fear that the proposals would result in "the partition of the UK" and play into the hands of Sinn Fein - which is calling for a new referendum on Northern Ireland's future.

He accused Britain of wanting the EU to "suspend the application of its laws" as a test case for broader EU-British customs regulations.

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"We do not need a divisive and destabilising border poll".

Barnier reiterated that the United Kingdom and the European Union need to find a joint political position on the Good Friday agreement and the common travel area - which makes it possible for citizens on both sides of the border to travel without passport checks - before negotiations can move onto the next phase.

"The principles reflected in this paper must underpin any arrangements and solutions to be proposed, developed and agreed in future negotiations", the statement said.

Barnier was also adamant that Britain needs to settle its share of the European Union budget in full, insisting that financial commitments made by the previous British Prime Minister David Cameron in 2013 had to be met, regardless of Brexit. Since the signing of the Good Friday peace deal in 1998, Northern Ireland's economy has become increasingly intertwined with its southern neighbor, especially in key sectors such as agriculture.

The Irish Wine Association has launched the Irish Wine Market Report 2016, calling for an alcohol excise reduction in the upcoming Budget on the basis that Ireland's penal excise rate is bad for jobs, consumers and tourism.

"We welcome the opportunity to discuss the points that have been made to us in the evidence we have taken so far and to raise our concerns about the impact of Brexit in Scotland. People in Britain will be dismayed if the Good Friday Agreement and the peace it has brought is damaged". I also think of Canada, with whom we have negotiated a very ambitious free trade agreement, CETA.

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