Economy

UK Risks Crashing Out of EU Without Deal, Irish Premier Says

UK Risks Crashing Out of EU Without Deal, Irish Premier Says

Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has warned that Britain has yet to propose a solution to the Irish border issue and risks crashing out of the European Union if progress is not made ahead of a Brussels summit next month, according to Reuters report.

Nonetheless, the Taoiseach said he "welcomed" the new thinking by the British side which appears, at least, to move away from the notion that technological solutions would suffice to avoid a hard Border.

PM Theresa May today repeatedly pleadged that Britain would leave the EU customs union in 2020.

But the move could create obstacles to business between Britain's Northern Ireland and EU-member Ireland.

The so-called Irish backstop has been agreed by Theresa May's Brexit committee.

Until that time, London will remain in the customs Union of the EU.

Downing Street has announced that the Prime Minister confirmed to her Cabinet that the Government is producing a white paper on its proposed future relationship with the EU.

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"Negotiations are continuing on what a workable backstop would be". The plan, met with skepticism among European Union officials, would keep the United Kingdom aligned with tariff and customs rules beyond the planned 21-month transition period.

Mr Varadkar said that ahead of the European Council summit in June "a lot of work is still to be done if we're going to make the "substantial progress" that we need to see in June, particularly around the issues of customs and the customs element of the backstop".

The suggestion of a "softer" Brexit lifted the pound overnight, according to Jasper Lawler, head of research at London Capital Group, an online trading platform.

But hardline eurosceptics are unhappy, with leading Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg telling the Telegraph: "People voted to leave, they did not vote for purgatory".

"Any move on customs would be welcome but I think I need to be very clear - that avoiding a hard Border between Northern Ireland and Ireland is about more than customs", he said.

She said: "Once the implementation period is finished we will be able to not only negotiate and sign trade deals but implement them".

Ministers are divided and any option would take time to implement.


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