Newstalk
Newstalk

08.08 16 Aug 2018


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The latest round of Brexit negotiations is set to get under way in Brussels today.

The Irish border issue is set to dominate on the first of two days of talks, with 'Ireland/Northern Ireland' the only item on today's agenda.

While both sides have agreed that a backstop is necessary to avoid a hard border in Ireland, they remain deadlocked on how to achieve it.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has called on the EU to "evolve its position" on the Irish border, while EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier has warned that Britain will crash out of the EU without a deal unless a solution can be found.

Following today's focus on Ireland, tomorrow the talks will move on to looking at the future relationship between the EU and UK.

Negotiators are working to reach an agreement ahead of a key meeting of EU leaders in October.

Speaking ahead of today's talks, a Fine Gael senator has warned it's 'vital' that progress is made this week.

Senator Neale Richmond observed: "There is a myth in the UK that a no deal is better than a bad deal but this simply does not stand up to scrutiny.

“Put quite bluntly, a no deal scenario and a reliance on WTO rules would cause chaos in the UK. Flights would be grounded, crops will rot in the ground, there will be a run on the banks, trucks will be stuck at ports and a hard border would be a target for dissident paramilitaries."

He added: “There is no such thing as a good Brexit but the damage can be limited and the importance of a Brexit deal cannot be lost."


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