EU paper: Only way to avoid hard border is for North to stay in single market

The EU Commission says a hard border can only be avoided if Northern Ireland stays in the single market after Brexit.

A position paper sent by the EU to the British government says the North should also stay in the customs union.

It says this is the only way that the common travel area can be maintained, and the Good Friday Agreement protected.

An abandoned customs office on the Border

Sinn Féin says the paper is a sign the Commission supports the idea of securing special status for Northern Ireland within the EU.

It comes as the British government announced that the 'exit day' will be 11pm on March 29, 2019.

The date of Brexit will be written into law as Theresa May warned Tory rebels that the process of leaving the European Union will not be derailed.

And the Prime Minister issued a blunt message to pro-EU MPs, saying any attempt to block Brexit will not be tolerated.

The move comes as Mr Davis was set to meet the European Union's chief negotiator Michel Barnier in Brussels, where officials have been engaged in the latest round of Brexit talks.

The amendment enshrining Brexit day in law will be considered by MPs when the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill returns to the Commons next week.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph the Prime Minister said: "We will not tolerate attempts from any quarter to use the process of amendments to this Bill as a mechanism to try to block the democratic wishes of the British people by attempting to slow down or stop our departure from the European Union."


Related Articles

Labour must ‘come off the fence’ and back a second EU vote, says MP

Farage urges Leave voters to prepare for ‘worst case scenario’ second referendum

Tories undermining devolution and making case for independence, claim SNP

Theresa May pushes on with Brexit agenda after tough EU summit

More in this Section

Garda appeal after man with gun robs cash box from cash in transit van in Dublin

Garda had time to avoid hitting woman when he first saw her crossing road, expert witness tells trial

Abortion services available from January 1, but will be limited, Harris admits

Man, 28, charged with fatal Waterford assault


Lifestyle

Lindsay Woods: At a time of year when the pace is frenzied and days are full of school plays and deadlines, the chance to break from routine is a welcome one

On the red carpet: Margot Robbie, Saoirse Ronan, Diane Kruger and Cheryl

Raise a glass to Christmas festivities

The best festive desserts to try out this Christmas

More From The Irish Examiner