Published: Wed, June 06, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Northern Ireland's DUP dismisses idea of joint UK, EU status

Northern Ireland's DUP dismisses idea of joint UK, EU status

The top DUP official described this as a "red line" and said the ruling government would lose the support of her party's ten MPs, which could also hinder the government in passing legislation unrelated to Brexit.

These were dismissed as unworkable by European Union officials and raised concerns from police about possible sectarian attacks on infrastructure like numberplate recognition cameras. While both sides say they are committed to keeping the border open, finding a practical solution is still proving elusive.

This plan was rejected by the British authorities.

Earlier this week the chair of the Police Federation of Northern Ireland, Mark Lindsay, set out a case for the recruitment of hundreds of additional officers in order to prepare with what emerges from negotiations about the border in the post-Brexit era.

Under the backstop, agreed during the first phase of negotiations in December, Northern Ireland would remain in regulatory alignment with the European Union to ensure there's no need for border checks on the island of Ireland.

The official who spoke to Reuters said the dual-regulatory proposal was inspired by Liechtenstein, which is able to trade on equal terms with both Switzerland and the EU.

Talks on a future EU-UK trade deal will only commence once fears over Ireland are put to rest, and a final Brexit deal is supposed to be finalised by October.

The special economic zone will mean traders, who constitute 90 percent of cross-border traffic, can operate under the same rules as those south of the border, the report said, citing a senior government official.

May previously pledged to take the United Kingdom out of the EU customs union by considering two options.

John McGrane, the Director-General of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce, dismissed the proposal and said it was too late to be floating "vague, unworkable" ideas.

The Brexiteer MP added: "Instead of moving from one set of half-cooked ideas to the other it is now time for the Government to put down its foot and make it clear to European Union negotiators that the Prime Minister stands by her commitment that no deal is better than a bad deal and if they want to avoid the consequences then they need to stop dismissing the perfectly feasible ideas that were put forward in August of a year ago".

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