Britain's May in Northern Ireland to push her Brexit vision


The EU's chief Brexit negotiator highlighted Gibraltar's future outside the bloc as one of the "important" pending issues that must be resolved by October before a withdrawal agreement can be concluded with the UK.

WEAK and unstable Prime Minister Theresa May flew to Northern Ireland on Thursday to tell the deadlocked Northern Irish that her Brexit plan is the 'best way to avoid a hard border with Ireland, ' defying Tory Brexiteers.

"As I told the ministers, there are several elements in this white paper that open the way to a constructive discussion regarding the political declaration on our future relationship", he said. "I'm sure in good faith, if that energy and that ambition is reciprocated, as I'm confident it will be, we will get there".

These include Ireland s plans for at least 920 new customs and veterinary inspectors at ports and airports to tackle changes in the trading relationship with Britain.

"But also the British military bases in Cyprus, and obviously Gibraltar".

"Agreement on them is necessary prior to us adopting a withdrawal agreement".

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The EU had set out its vision of future relations earlier this year.

With a little more than eight months to go before Britain is due to leave the European Union on March 29, 2019, May's government, parliament, the public and businesses remain deeply divided over what form Brexit should take.

"If that is designed in a way that works for businesses like ours and we really can take advantage of trade deals that the United Kingdom strikes then that's great, if it's not then it's true, we would have a trade policy in principle but not in practice".

In a speech to politicians and business leaders in Belfast, May sought to turn the focus onto the European Union and the fate of the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, one of the main stumbling blocks in the negotiations.

In remarks directed at the EU, Hunt said the United Kingdom would however "find a way not just to survive but to thrive economically".

"It's not necessarily our backstop. So we must work together to solve it". The withdrawal agreement needs to be concluded as soon as possible.

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She said Mrs May had boxed herself into a corner with her Chequers agreement, dismissing the White Paper as "a starting point [but] not an end deal".

'I fully recognise how their livelihoods, families and friends rely on the ability to move freely across the border to trade, live and work on a daily basis.

'I've also been clear we will not accept the imposition of any border down the Irish Sea and we will preserve the integrity of the UK's internal market and Northern Ireland's place within it'.

May said some argued that Britain should declare it will not impose any checks at the border after Brexit, and if the European Union required the Irish government to introduce checks, the blame would lie with them.

Former Brexit secretary David Davis has urged the Prime Minister to "reset" her negotiating strategy.

May said that "no technology solution to address these issues has been designed yet, or implemented anywhere in the world, let alone in such a unique and highly sensitive context as the Northern Ireland border".

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Though Mr Trump later contradicted his comments by then promising a great U.S. trade deal, the president made clear his admiration for the 54-year-old Mr Johnson, who Trump said would one day make a great British prime minister.