UK concedes on Irish border question

The UK has conceded on the vital issue of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic, MEPs have been told.

According to RTE’s Tony Connelly, who first tweeted on the developments earlier today, the UK has agreed to ensure no “regulatory divergence” between the two on the EU’s single market and customs union.

A paragraph from a 15-page draft document seen by RTE News, Ireland’s national broadcaster, addressed the issue in clear terms:

“In the absence of agreed solutions the UK will ensure that there continues to be no divergence from those rules of the internal market and the customs union which, now or in the future, support North South cooperation and the protection of the Good Friday Agreement.”

The news comes shortly after Simon Coveney, Ireland’s new Tanaiste, told The Andrew Marr Show Ireland has “no desire” to delay Brexit negotiations through the use of a veto given to all EU27 member states.

Discussions are still ongoing, with both the Irish government and Westminster needing to accept the concession and Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar due to make an announcement this afternoon.

However, according Sky News’ Faisal Islam, Philippe Lamberts, a Belgian Green MEP, appears to have implied that the UK has already agreed on the provision, saying that “Ireland is down to Dublin”.

Feature image credit: Daniel Leas-Olivas / AFP

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