Theresa May was in Northern Ireland meeting the different political parties – including the DUP, whose votes she needs in Parliament, who are totally opposed to the current version of the controversial backstop, as well as Sinn Féin, who are just as adamant that it must remain. The Republic of Ireland, an EU member state, is the only country to share a land border with the UK.
Northern Ireland is the smallest nation in the UK, but the border with the Republic of Ireland could become one of the biggest parts of the Brexit negotiations. So why is the Irish border so important? The Irish government has two key priorities in any Brexit negotiations. The first is to make sure the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland is as seamless as possible. The second is to ensure there are as few barriers to trade between itself and the UK as possible.
Conservative Lord Robathan asks what payments the government will make to the EU in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Treasury Minister Lord Bates says the government has “agreed a fair financial settlement with the EU” but the government has always accepted that the UK and EU have obligations to each other “which need to be resolved”. Lord Robathan says that the UK “should not pay bills when we have not received anything in exchange”. Lord Bates says that the withdrawal agreement is not related to the “future economic partnership”. Not paying it would have an impact on the UK’s ability to “get a good [trade] deal,” he adds.
‘Jacob Rees-Mogg you’re right. You don’t need to visit the border… you need to have lived here.’ Belfast-born actor Stephen Rea explores the real impact of Brexit and the uncertainty of the future of the Irish border in a short film written by Clare Dwyer Hogg.
What is the problem with the Irish border
The Nigel Farage Show: 5th February 2019
What did the parties say after the meetings?
Leader Arlene Foster reiterated the party’s opposition to the backstop and said Mrs May must “stand strong” in her talks with the EU.
Mrs Foster also said Mr Tusk’s comments were “deliberately provocative and disrespectful” and that the pressure is mounting among EU leaders.
Brexit spokesperson Sammy Wilson responded to Mr Tusk’s comments by calling him a “devilish euro maniac”, and accused the European Council president of having “fanned the flames of fear” to try and overturn the referendum result.
President Mary Lou McDonald said Donald Tusk’s words were “accurately reflecting the outrage” people in NI feel about how Brexit has been handled.
She added that the party’s meeting with the PM was direct, but offered nothing new and she accused Mrs May of having “no honour”.
Ms McDonald also reiterated the party’s support for the backstop and that a border poll should take place if there is a no-deal Brexit.
The idea of a border poll was met sceptically on Tuesday by Tony Lloyd, Northern Ireland’s shadow secretary of state, who said it was “not the most obvious thing we should rush into”.
Leader Robin Swann said his party would not accept a time-limited backstop, something the PM suggested when his party met her.
He added that Mrs May wanted to focus on Brexit and the UUP had to “drag” her to a place where they could raise the restoration of Stormont.
Mr Swann said his party told her they wanted direct rule implemented in Northern Ireland if there is a no-deal Brexit.
Leader Colum Eastwood said that his party had told Mrs May that it is now time to “put up or shut up”.
He said it was clear the backstop was the only viable solution, save keeping the UK in the single market and the customs union.
He added that he had been “infuriated” when the government voted in favour of an amendment last week that called for alternative arrangements to replace the backstop.
Leader Naomi Long said the time for “assurances” about Brexit from the government was over, describing her party’s talks with Mrs May as “constructive but very direct”.
Ms Long reiterated that the party had heard nothing new from Mrs May and that it still backed the Brexit deal that included the backstop.
The plans were put in place after Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) chiefs asked for reinforcements to deal with any trouble that arises from a hard border. The training for officers from English forces and Police Scotland is expected to begin this month.
The news came on a day of growing concern that a no-deal Brexit is becoming a distinct possibility, on which:
• The Irish prime minister, Leo Varadkar, said Ireland was “now preparing for no deal with the same level of seriousness that we would” Theresa May’s deal, adding that he and the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, had spoken and agreed that there could be no change in the offer to the UK.
• EU leaders rebuffed May’s hopes that her round of phone diplomacy could prompt any movement, saying “negotiations have concluded”.
• May’s attempts to woo the Democratic Unionist party were again rejected after two days of intense negotiations, making the chance of victory for the prime minister in the crucial mid-January vote on her deal still more remote.
The prospect of large numbers of English and Scottish officers being deployed on the streets of Northern Ireland after 29 March could anger republicans and complicate efforts to restore the power-sharing executive at Stormont, which collapsed in 2017.
Brexit: Say Goodbye Northern Ireland. What is the solution to the Northern Irish Backstop on the Island of Ireland.
Well the Good Friday Agreement has a set of rules of which is to have no security stations in Northern Ireland or at the border with the Republic of Ireland.
But Britain voted to leave the European Union in the Brexit referendum. It was therefore interpreted they should leave the customs union and the single market.
Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement was rejected by parliament in the house of commons.
So in this video I discuss what would happen to the Irish Border under World Trade organisation rules in a no deal scenario. As well as possible solutions to the Irish backstop including a permanent customs union, technological solutions including number plate recognition technology and moving security posts away from the border, having an Irish independence referendum and opening up the good Friday agreement.
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A brief overview of the history of Ireland and the events that led to the political division of the island. Including: the Norman and Tudor conquest of Ireland, the break away from the Roman Catholic Church, the Union of the Crowns, the various Irish Rebellions, Oliver Cromwell’s effect on Ireland, Irish joining the Union, the Irish War for Independence, the following Civil War, and the recent violence in Northern Ireland known as The Troubles.