UK Primer Minister Rejects EU Draft Option for Northern Ireland

An EU proposal for the Northern

Ireland border threatens the “constitutional integrity” of the United

Kingdom (UK), Theresa May has said.

A draft legal agreement published by the EU proposes a

“common regulatory area” on the island of Ireland after Brexit, if

solutions cannot be found.

May said “no UK prime minister could ever agree” to this.

The EU said the controversial “backstop” option is not intended

to “provoke” the UK.

Unveiling the draft agreement, EU chief negotiator Michel

Barnier called on the UK to come up with alternatives.

He said the text was “no surprise” and was just a legally-worded

assessment of what had been agreed so far.

Barnier said the document contained “concrete and realistic

solutions” in relation to the question of how to avoid a hard border once

the UK leaves the EU’s customs union.

Other options, a UK-EU deal that means checks are not

needed and technological solutions will also be explored.

Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions, May said she would be

making her opposition to the “backstop” option “crystal clear” to the EU

commission.

Conservative Brexiteers have also said it is “completely

unacceptable” and would effectively annex Northern Ireland.

There is also opposition to any role for the European Court of

Justice after Brexit, the EU is proposing that disputes over the Brexit

agreement in future years be settled by a “joint committee,” which can

refer to the EU’s court for a binding decision.

According to the draft text, it would involve an “area without

internal borders in which the free movement of goods is ensured,”

covering customs, VAT, energy, agriculture, goods and other sectors.

The Irish government said this option was “very much a default

and would only apply should it prove necessary”.

Ireland’s foreign affairs minister Simon Coveney said the

publication was “another important step in the Brexit negotiations,” the

BBC reported.

Source: Oman News Agency