No Holiday Revenge for European Union as Brexit Talks Said to Be Delayed

Tammy Harvey
August 19, 2017

"We will absolutely work for all sides in Northern Ireland, we're absolutely committed to the Belfast agreement and ensuring the decisions we take are decision for every community in Northern Ireland", said Mrs May.

The idea of leaving both the single market and customs union but of maintaining an "infrastructure-free" Border at Newry was a central thrust of the United Kingdom paper published on Wednesday, but it remains in the eyes of both Irish and EU officials an unrealistic expectation.

Public holidays are one aspect of life that the EU hasn't harmonized across its 28 countries, and European Commission staff generally follow the calendar of Belgium, where most of its employees are based.

The British government said it wanted a seamless and frictionless frontier without "physical border infrastructure and border posts".

While the start-date for this month's talks hasn't been formally agreed yet, it's likely to be August 29 or August 30 and the negotiating round is likely to run for three days, officials said.

The issue of the Irish border is one of three high priority "phase one" negotiations in the Brexit talks, along with citizens' rights and the financial settlement - often referred to as the divorce bill.

"That's not just in the interests of Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom, it's in the interests of the Republic of Ireland and the European Union too".

The proposal has yet to be confirmed by the government.

The UK government's desire to avoid implementing border posts between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland has been welcomed, with the NI Chamber stressing that having free movement of people and goods between the two is "essential". Is that possible or acceptable?

The paper confounded speculation that the United Kingdom would advocate CCTV cameras or number plate recognition systems as part of its vision for a frictionless border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

"They'll be subject of now complex and costly red tape and delay being outside the Customs Union".

"Given all this, it's hard to understand how any guarantees can be provided about the absence of physical borders or customs checkpoints, regardless of any proposed exemptions, unless a comprehensive customs agreement and single market access is delivered".

"The operation of the land border between the north and south should be none of their business".

The product for cattle bedding is made in Dublin but distributed in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland.

Mr McHugh said many people in the region feel they do not have a voice on Brexit in the absence of the political institutions.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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