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Arlene Foster hits out at Michel Barnier over Irish border Arlene Foster hits out at Michel Barnier over Irish border
(7 months later)
The leader of the DUP has said the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator “does not understand” the unionist history or position in Northern Ireland.The leader of the DUP has said the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator “does not understand” the unionist history or position in Northern Ireland.
Speaking just hours before Michel Barnier is due to talk at an all-Ireland civic dialogue conference on Brexit, Arlene Foster said that he pretended to understand the issues but was “not an honest broker”.Speaking just hours before Michel Barnier is due to talk at an all-Ireland civic dialogue conference on Brexit, Arlene Foster said that he pretended to understand the issues but was “not an honest broker”.
“Michel Barnier’s trying to present himself as someone who cares deeply about Northern Ireland and if that is the case he needs to hear the fact that we are part of the United Kingdom [and] will remain part of the United Kingdom constitutionally, politically and economically,” she told the BBC on Monday.“Michel Barnier’s trying to present himself as someone who cares deeply about Northern Ireland and if that is the case he needs to hear the fact that we are part of the United Kingdom [and] will remain part of the United Kingdom constitutionally, politically and economically,” she told the BBC on Monday.
“Therefore his proposal of us being in an all-Ireland regulatory scenario with a border down the Irish Sea simply does not work. I don’t think he does understand the wider unionist culture of Northern Ireland,” she added.“Therefore his proposal of us being in an all-Ireland regulatory scenario with a border down the Irish Sea simply does not work. I don’t think he does understand the wider unionist culture of Northern Ireland,” she added.
The DUP is strongly opposed to the agreement made in December, and upheld in the March deal between the EU and the UK, in which Northern Ireland will remain fully aligned with the EU and the Republic of Ireland in the event that there is no overall deal to keep the Irish border invisible.The DUP is strongly opposed to the agreement made in December, and upheld in the March deal between the EU and the UK, in which Northern Ireland will remain fully aligned with the EU and the Republic of Ireland in the event that there is no overall deal to keep the Irish border invisible.
The DUP is propping up Theresa May’s government but last week DUP MP Nigel Dodds said it was prepared to let the government collapse over the issue. However, the EU and the Irish government are holding firm.The DUP is propping up Theresa May’s government but last week DUP MP Nigel Dodds said it was prepared to let the government collapse over the issue. However, the EU and the Irish government are holding firm.
Ireland’s deputy prime minister, Simon Coveney, has warned that there would be “difficulties” at the next EU council summit in June in progressing to wider Brexit talks unless the UK commits to wording for a “backstop” solution for the Irish border.Ireland’s deputy prime minister, Simon Coveney, has warned that there would be “difficulties” at the next EU council summit in June in progressing to wider Brexit talks unless the UK commits to wording for a “backstop” solution for the Irish border.
Barnier has also warned there would be no withdrawal agreement and no transition agreement if Britain does not agree to wording for the backstop solution by June.Barnier has also warned there would be no withdrawal agreement and no transition agreement if Britain does not agree to wording for the backstop solution by June.
Irish and EU negotiators are getting increasingly exasperated by what they see as Britain’s refusal to move forward on talks on the Irish border issue before the June deadline.Irish and EU negotiators are getting increasingly exasperated by what they see as Britain’s refusal to move forward on talks on the Irish border issue before the June deadline.
“The British government has red lines all over the place and expects the EU to accommodate them. We have red lines, so does the EU, but nobody seems to focus on that,” said Coveney.“The British government has red lines all over the place and expects the EU to accommodate them. We have red lines, so does the EU, but nobody seems to focus on that,” said Coveney.
“It is not OK for the British government to rule out a whole series of options and then pretend that somebody, somewhere is going to find a solution to find a way forward. The next move is Britain’s in the negotiations,” he said.“It is not OK for the British government to rule out a whole series of options and then pretend that somebody, somewhere is going to find a solution to find a way forward. The next move is Britain’s in the negotiations,” he said.
Northern IrelandNorthern Ireland
BrexitBrexit
European UnionEuropean Union
EuropeEurope
Foreign policyForeign policy
Democratic Unionist party (DUP)Democratic Unionist party (DUP)
Arlene Foster
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