Amid friction over the EU’s proposal to solve the Irish border issue (see our earlier coverage as well), UK Prime Minister Theresa May prepares to give a speech to parliament in which she will set out her government’s stance to deal with the final Brexit issues.
The move comes as she faces pressure from the right (Mr Boris Johnson, her Secretary of State, is clearly angling for her position) and from the left (Mr Jeremy Corbyn of the leftwing Labour opposition wants to keep the UK in the customs union and unseat the government in this manner).
The EU's draft legal agreement that was published yesterday afternoon proposes to settle the dilemma of the Irish border with a "common regulatory area" after Brexit on the island.
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Thus, the EU proposes to in effect keep Northern Ireland in a customs union, if no other solution is found.
"The territory of Northern Ireland shall be considered to be part of the customs territory of the Union."
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However, Ms May quickly rebuffed the idea, stating that no UK PM could ever accept this.
"The draft legal text the commission have published would, if implemented, undermine the UK common market and threaten the constitutional integrity of the UK by creating a customs and regulatory border down the Irish Sea, and no UK prime minster could ever agree to it."
The DUP's Westminster leader (the smaller Northern Irish party helping the conservatives of Theresa May to a working majority government, red.) Mr Nigel Dodds said: "We did not leave the European Union to oversee the breakup of the United Kingdom."