European Council President Tusk Warns of Hard Border in Ireland After Brexit
REUTERS/ Clodagh KilcoyneEurope13:03 01.03.2018Get short URL110
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – European Council President Donald Tusk said on Thursday that London’s stance on exit from the EU single market and customs union might result in the establishment of a hard border on the island of Ireland, which Brussels would like to avoid.
“Recently, London has definitively confirmed its red lines, including “no customs union” and “no single market”. We acknowledge these red lines without enthusiasm and without satisfaction… And one of the possible negative consequences of this kind of Brexit is a hard border on the island of Ireland. The EU wants to prevent this scenario,” Tusk said in a statement, as quoted by the council’s press service.
On Wednesday, the European Commission published the draft Article 50 Withdrawal Agreement. The document stipulates the establishment of a common regulatory area without internal borders, covering both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May slammed the document, saying it would undermine the UK market and threaten the UK constitutional integrity as provides for creating a regulatory border between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.
The border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland remains an obstacle on the agenda of the Brexit talks, as London’s pullout might create difficulties for the free movement of goods and workers between the Republic of Ireland and the Northern Irish counties of the United Kingdom.
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On June 23, 2016, the United Kingdom voted in a referendum to leave the European Union. The negotiations between the United Kingdom and Brussels are due to be completed by the end of March 2019.
The bill that specifies the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union sets 23:00 GMT March 29, 2019, as the exact time for the country’s exit from the bloc. The document will end the priority of EU laws over UK legislation by canceling the 1972 European Communities Act, which formalizes London’s membership in the European Union.