Britain may give Northern Ireland joint UK, EU status: gov't official

Nathan Gill

NORTHERN Ireland could get a 10-mile economic buffer zone with Ireland in a bid to resolve the ongoing dispute over the status of its border after Brexit. "It needs to happen two weeks from the summit", Coveney told the Irish Times newspaper, referring to a June summit of European Union leaders that is supposed to mark significant progress on the issue.

The UK must submit written proposals on how it plans to keep a frictionless Irish border after Brexit in the next two weeks, Ireland's foreign minister has said.

The top DUP official described this as a "red line" and said the ruling government would lose the support of her party's ten MPs, which could also hinder the government in passing legislation unrelated to Brexit. An unnamed Whitehall source told the paper: "Max fac 2 is tremendously complicated, but it's at least something the cabinet can unite around".

Northern Ireland will be granted joint United Kingdom and European Union status, according to an anonymous government official, in a plan that could shatter the Conservative-Democratic Unionist Party alliance in Westminster.

The EU and Dublin insist Britain's withdrawal treaty must lock in a backstop arrangement guaranteeing Northern Ireland will abide by EU regulations in case a future trade pact does not remove the need for border controls.

Indeed, this scheme raises more questions than answers and the fact that it is even being put forward for consideration at this stage of negotiations is a sign of desperation on the part of the Brexit secretary and the British government.

Bill Clinton says he doesn't owe Monica Lewinsky an apology
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Sinn Fein accused Mr Davis of trying to "hide a hard border in a buffer zone".

"Once again this shows the lack of knowledge of border areas and the concerns they face", Anderson said.

"None of these proposals have been discussed with the DUP and at first examination they appear to be at best contradictory".

Theresa May's latest attempt to break the Brexit deadlock hasn't impressed the EU.

"The UK Government must urgently clarify its position and guarantee that Scotland will not lose out". Do checks have to be carried out there?

The Brexiteer MP added: "Instead of moving from one set of half-cooked ideas to the other it is now time for the Government to put down its foot and make it clear to European Union negotiators that the Prime Minister stands by her commitment that no deal is better than a bad deal and if they want to avoid the consequences then they need to stop dismissing the perfectly feasible ideas that were put forward in August of previous year".

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