Brexit: no Irish border decision before the trade agreement – Fox



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  Liam Fox Royalty image
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There can be no definitive decisions on the future of the Irish border until the United Kingdom and the EU have reached a trade agreement, said Liam Fox.

The UK Secretary of International Trade also blamed the EU for Brexit delays.

The comments came after the EU Commissioner of the Republic of Ireland said that Dublin could veto the Brexit trade negotiations.

The EU has said that there must be "sufficient progress" made at the Irish border before negotiations on a future relationship can begin.

Downing Street has said that the entire UK will abandon both the customs union and the single market when it leaves the EU in 2019.

"We do not" We do not want a difficult border, but the United Kingdom is going to abandon the customs union and the single market, "Fox told Sky News.

He added:" We can not arrive at a final answer to the Irish Question until we have an idea of ​​the final state. And until we have discussions with the EU about the final state it will be very difficult, so the sooner we can do better, and we are still in a position where the EU does not want to do that. "

Mr. Fox accused to the European Commission having an "obsession" with an ever closer union among EU member states, which was holding back progress in the Brexit talks.

"Playing hard"

Phil Hogan, commissioner EU agriculture, told the observer that he remained in the customs union He would deny the need for a hard border – with customs posts and possible pbadport controls – on the island.

He said Dublin "will play hard until the end" his threat to veto trade negotiations until he has guarantees over the border.

Foreign Minister John McDonnell said he was "worried" about Fox's comments, adding that Labor would not take continued membership of the single market and the customs union.

"I think the only thing we do We want to do is to endanger any movement quickly, because we need movement to allow us to enter into the right trade negotiations," McDonnell told ITV's Peston on Sunday.

"So I hope it's not an affirmation sanctioned by Downing Street that it's done."

The EU has given Prime Minister Theresa May until December 4 to present new proposals on issues such as the border, the Brexit divorce project and the rights of citizens, if European leaders agree to move forward in the talks commercial.

But Mr. Hogan accused some in the British government of having what he called "blind faith" to ensure a comprehensive free trade agreement after Brexit.

He said it was a "very simple fact" that "if the United Kingdom or Northern Ireland remained in the EU customs union, or better yet in the single market, there would be no border problems."

In these circumstances, the regulations on both sides of the border would remain the same, so that an almost invisible border would be possible.

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The Irish government has always insisted that there should be no hard border between the Republic and Northern Ireland, with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar saying he must have insured from the United Kingdom before the Brexit talks can move forward.

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said the UK's desire to have no hard frontiers in Ireland was "ambitious". "

But in her speech in Florence, this September, Ms. May reiterated that both the United Kingdom and the EU would not accept any physical infrastructure on the border.

The Democratic Unionist Party said that Ireland's North and the rest of the United Kingdom should not be diff erent.

Arlene Foster, the DUP leader, who is in a trust and supply agreement with the conservative government, said she would not support "any suggestion that Northern Ireland , unlike the rest of the UK, it will have to reflect European regulations. "

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Irish MEP Mairead McGuinness said she was" worried "about Fox's comments and urged the United Kingdom to remain in the single market and the customs union.

"I hope that the United Kingdom is not holding the Irish situation as a rescue in these negotiations; it is too serious and too critical, "he told the Sunday Politics on BBC One.

But Conservative MP Owen Paterson said in the same program that it should not be about Northern Ireland leaving the" UK single market. "

Mr. Paterson, former secretary of Northern Ireland, accused some politicians of trying to "force and blackmail the United Kingdom into granting a special status to Northern Ireland," the rest of the United Kingdom. [19659005] Suggestions for alternative arrangements have included a new partnership that would "align" the customs approaches between the United Kingdom and the EU, which would result in "no customs border whatsoever between the United Kingdom and Ireland".

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