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Britain ‘concedes’ over Irish border during Brexit negotiations

RT / Britain has reportedly caved in to Ireland’s demands on a post-Brexit border, agreeing a deal between the UK region of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, ensuring that there will be no hard border between the north and the south. The news emerged after a weekend of doubt for British PM Theresa May, as Brexit talks teetered on the edge of disaster. Frantic bartering took place between the UK and Ireland, threatening to derail critical talks with the EU in Brussels on Monday.

It now seems that May has folded in the face of the EU and Ireland’s threats. She is expected to come to a formal agreement over lunch on Monday with EU Brexit negotiator Jean Claude Juncker, European Council President Donald Tusk, and Brexit secretary David Davis.

The 310-mile (499km) border between the UK province of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland is seen as a particularly sensitive part of negotiations, with Northern Ireland leaving the EU and the Republic remaining. Trade across the Irish border is worth £43 billion ($58.1 billion), with more than a third of Northern Irish exports heading south.

Read more ‘If Ireland’s not happy, we’re not happy’: Tusk gives Dublin formal veto on Brexit border issue The UK wants to withdraw from the EU customs union which, unless special arrangements are made, would create a barrier in the currently seamless trade system experienced between the north and south.

Last week, European Council President Donald Tusk warned the UK PM that if a reasonable offer isn’t put on the table for the Irish border, the EU will block Brexit talks until a fair agreement between Britain and Ireland can be made.

Tusk’s threat came after a meeting with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar in Dublin on Friday, which set the stage for a frenzied weekend of desperate talks and negotiations for the UK prime minister, in a last-ditch effort to reach a border agreement with Ireland before the start of the next working week.

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