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UK News 'Ireland first': May warned on Brexit talks

05:35  09 march  2018
05:35  09 march  2018 Source:   news.sky.com

Ireland calls on Theresa May to come up with Brexit solutions

  Ireland calls on Theresa May to come up with Brexit solutions Irish leaders insist they are not trying to provoke London over EU withdrawal.Brussels chief negotiator Michel Barnier’s text outlining a default scenario for regulations on an all-Ireland basis drew ire from Theresa May.

Britain and Ireland are just 'hours away' from a deal to move Brexit talks on to trade negotiations an Irish official claims - after Boris warns May not to make any more concessions to Brussels.

Ireland 's leader likened Theresa May to a want-away wife who wants to sleep around as he sunk Brexit talks to a new low. Ireland also warned it could block the start of trade talks at Christmas without new answers on the Brexit border today despite a new diplomatic push.

  'Ireland first': May warned on Brexit talks © getty

A top EU figure has told Britain there must be an "Ireland first" approach to the Brexit talks, dismissing suggestions the contentious issue can be put off until later in the negotiations.

European Council president Donald Tusk said progress could be put in jeopardy if there was any "backsliding" by the UK on the deal agreed between London and Brussels in December.

Prime Minister Theresa May has angrily dismissed EU proposals which would mean Northern Ireland effectively remaining in the bloc's customs union.

Related: Donald Tusk: We don't want to build a wall between EU and Britain (provided by Press Association)

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How can they leave the single market AND keep an open border in Ireland ? Brussels casts doubt on May ’s Brexit divorce deal. Nicola Sturgeon has welcomed a breakthrough in the first phase of Brexit talks but warned that the 'devil is in the detail' of the deal.

Image: Mr Tusk also dismissed the Chancellor's hopes for a free trade deal covering the financial sector.

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Mr Tusk claimed Britain had so far failed to come up with "specific and realistic" alternative proposals to keep the Irish border open without reverting to the EU's "backstop" option which has provoked such anger.

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Ireland has issued a stark warning that it will block progress of the Brexit negotiations in spokesman said there had been “constructive discussions on Brexit ” between May and Varadkar at the to offer an additional £20bn to settle the divorce bill in the first week of December before the talks .

Brexit Secretary David Davis has accused the European Commission of "putting the cart before the horse" on Ireland by laying out in depth proposals for regulatory alignment on both sides of the border.

He has also maintained that the thorny issue can best be handled as part of future talks on Britain's trading relationship with the EU.

But speaking after talks with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar in Dublin, Mr Tusk said: "We know today that the UK Government rejects a customs and regulatory border down the Irish Sea, the EU single market and the customs union.

EU Council President Donald Tusk speaks at a press conference after meeting Irish PM Leo Varadkar © PA EU Council President Donald Tusk speaks at a press conference after meeting Irish PM Leo Varadkar

"While we must respect this position, we also expect the UK to propose a specific and realistic solution to avoid a hard border.

"As long as the UK doesn't present such a solution, it is very difficult to imagine substantive progress in Brexit negotiations.

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"If in London someone assumes that the negotiations can deal with other issues first before the Irish issue, my response would be: Ireland first."

He warned: "We have to be clear that any backsliding on the commitments made so far would create a risk to further progress in Brexit negotiations. This applies also to the question of avoiding a hard border."

Mr Tusk also dismissed the Chancellor's hopes for a free trade deal covering the financial sector, warning any agreement will not offer the same access for services as for goods.

In a speech on Wednesday, Philip Hammond had warned the City of London's European rivals that they would not automatically benefit from a deal that excludes financial services.

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond © getty Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond

But Mr Tusk said: "In the FTA we can offer trade in goods with the aim of covering all sectors, subject to zero tariffs and no quantitative restrictions.

"But services are not about tariffs. Services are about common rules, common supervision and common enforcement, to ensure a level playing field, to ensure the integrity of the single market and ultimately also to ensure financial stability.

"This is why we cannot offer the same in services as we can offer in goods. It's also why FTAs don't have detailed rules for financial services.

"We should all be clear that, also when it comes to financial services, life will be different after Brexit."

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