BREAKING: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says that the British Prime Minister Theresa May shd table a new proposal on the future customs relationship between the EU & UK within the next 2 wks, hints it cd see continued alignment btwn whole of UK and EU on customs into the future
the Taoiseach said the prime minister had given him some insights into what he called “new thinking” on the British side.
Varadkar: I said to the prime minister that any move that helped to align all of the EU and the UK in terms of customs into the future would be beneficial.
Ireland's EU Commissioner @PhilHoganEU has issued scathing criticism of Brexiteers during a speech to Seanad Eireann (the Irish Senate), accusing them of wanting a civil war in the Tory Party which "leaves no building standing"
Hogan: "One thing the Brexit story has shown is that the UK does not have an alternative policy to EU membership. Not by a long shot. Even Brexiteers are happy to keep one foot in the EU: security, transport agreements +continued participation in some EU agencies spring to mind
"But there is another, strategic, level for us to consider. When the EU talks security eyes normally turn east or south. For us, bordering the Atlantic Ocean security questions sometimes seem remote. But is this a moment to review our thinking on these wider, strategic questions?
Here are the observables from David Davis’s appearance at the @CommonsEUexit. It’s a long thread folks, but I hope a handy digest of his thoughts.
1. Davis does not believe the Irish backstop will require NI to have any different arrangements to the rest of the UK, nor does he believe the rest of the UK will have to align with EU rules for the backstop to work
2. Davis regards June as an artificial deadline for the backstop to be operationalised in the legal text, and says @campaignforLeo agrees with this
Some thoughts on the @dailytelegraph story: in the negotiations since the March #EUCO the UK has not put forward a formal paper. So, hard to see how there can be a “forensic annihilation” of something that hasn’t been commited to paper.
Acc to EU sources, the UK *has* been putting forward “reheated” versions of the August customs papers which were largely dismissed at the time as “magical thinking”. So in that sense, they would most likely be rejected again.
However, a definitive rejection of British proposals would not be a call that EU Task Force officials would have made on Wednesday. That kind of call is normally made by EU leaders following a recommendation by @MichelBarnier via the General Affairs Council.
Senior EU officials tells @rtenews the Irish border dilemma will remain “one of the very difficult” issues in Phase II of the Brexit negotiations.
Senior EU official: This is and will remain one of the very difficult issues, and we know that. Both because of the issue itself, on its own merits, but also because it exposes the contradictions in the UK position.
Senior EU official: And with the single market, [which was created] very much at the insistence of the Brits.