Should Northern Ireland have referendum on staying in the Customs Union?

Marie Harrington
November 30, 2017

Meanwhile, in her speech to the DUP Annual Conference in Belfast this past weekend, Arlene Foster categorically refused to accept the idea of any special status for the North that differed to the rest of the United Kingdom, even though Northern Ireland voted to Remain. There is undoubtedly an ever-increasing usage of nasty, jingoistic language by certain sections of the Brexit brigade, built on the shaky mythology of past imperial glory and imagined superiority.

Britain is close to clinching a deal with the European Union over the Northern Ireland border, a step that would pave the way for Brussels to offer a two-year Brexit transition deal as early as January, The Times newspaper reported on Thursday.

EU: Keep the EU27 together and back Ireland over the UK.

They took to the streets to ask random British people about Brexit's impact on Ireland, and they asked them to draw a line on a blank map of Ireland showing where the Republic ends and the North begins.

European Union officials and diplomats have in recent weeks been scoping out terms for a transition and various kinds of free trade agreements - work meant to speed up the start of talks on those issues in anticipation of agreement to open the second phase of Brexit negotiations at the December summit. And the DUP, always terrified that Britain will abandon them, simply will not allow any kind of border, however soft, to be put between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. Customs rules to be decided as part of the future trade talks.

Mr Paisley told the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee the "pussyfooting needs to stop".

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"There are a number of ways in which we can ensure that for the future and look forward to having more detailed discussions on that as we move into phase two of the negotiations".

The progress is being made ahead of a crunch meeting between Theresa May and EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker over lunch on Monday.

"I hope I can report to the European Council that in the meeting we have been able to negotiate that deal - and that we have reached a very important step in our relations, if we find this very important point in the agreement in the next days", he said in Berlin.

One senior European Union source said the final agreement was unlikely to emerge before the weekend as the Irish push for last-minute concessions before the progress meeting between May and Juncker on Monday.

The EU will not move on to discuss subjects like trade until there has been "sufficient progress" made on the issues of Ireland, Britain's Brexit bill, and the rights of EU citizens living in the UK.

'We need political solutions now and we are not getting them from the UK Government'.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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