United Kingdom 'close to Irish border solution' post-Brexit

United Kingdom 'close to Irish border solution' post-Brexit

But any attempt at a solution will have to convince Northern Ireland's pro-Brexit Democratic Unionist Party, whose 10 members of parliament are propping up May's government.

Britain in the coming days needs to demonstrate "sufficient progress" on three key European Union conditions - a financial settlement, rights of expatriate citizens and the Irish border - for leaders to give a green light to trade talks at a summit on 14-15 December.

The issue is a major sticking point in the negotiations and must be dealt with before trade talks can begin.

Open access will have to end when Britain leaves the single market and customs union, the Commons exiting the EU committee said.

United Kingdom government ministers have suggested technology could enable a "frictionless border", but the Irish government - with the backing of European Union member states - says it is not persuaded by British assurances that a hard border will not return.




Mentioning British Prime Minister Theresa May's request that a final offer is put on the table by December 4, Tusk added that after that: "We can assess whether sufficient progress can be made at the upcoming European Council".

"But there can be no arrangements agreed that compromise the integrity of the UK single market and place barriers, real or perceived, to the free movement of goods, services and capital between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom".

President of the European Council Donald Tusk signs a guest book in the office of Prime Minister (Taoisaech) of Ireland Leo Varadkar at Government buildings in Dublin, Ireland, December 1, 2017.

The Irish Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, has said without an assurance on the border issue, European Union leaders will not allow the Brexit talks to proceed to the next stage.

Expressing full support to Varadkar, Tusk said: "The key to the U.K.'s future lies in Dublin", and the other member states would back whatever Ireland decides.

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