Taoiseach: Brexit deal only way to avoid a hard border

Taoiseach: Brexit deal only way to avoid a hard border

As British Prime Minister Theresa May fights to save her Brexit deal, former U.K. Parliament Member John Browne said embarking on a "hard Brexit" is suitable.

"I think any re-negotiation would involve postponing Brexit, and the people who oppose it don't seem to want that".

The claim was fiercely denied by Mrs May this morning as she appeared on a live radio phone in on LBC as part of a PR bitz to drum up support for her deal.

Theresa May's draft Withdrawal Agreement set out plans for a "backstop" arrangement in the event the United Kingdom and European Union can't negotiate a trade deal to resolve the issue of the Irish border.

"We are still working with the DUP", she said.

"Certainly in our dealings with her she's been true to her word".

"I certainly don't think it could be re-negotiated in the period that's left - we're only a few months away from Brexit now".

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"The Irish government could only ever seek to influence the process, they cannot manage the internal affairs of the Tory party", he said.

The statistics, as of Friday, showed that a further 39 percent of poll respondents said they "don't know" at this stage whether they support May's deal, indicating that the amount of support for the prime minister's deal could change greatly.

"We have to be prudent, we have to prepare for the worst case scenario is even though I'm much more confident now that the worst case scenario won't arise", he said.

He said if it looked as though Britain were heading towards a no-deal departure from the European Union then direct discussions on how to avoid a hard border would be required.

A "hard Brexit" is generally seen as a British departure from the European Union in which it loses all access to EU markets and the EU customs union; a "soft Brexit" is generally seen as a British departure from the EU in which the United Kingdom retains some access to EU markets and stays in the customs union but at the price of compromising on immigration policies.

"They would have to implement WTO rules so those hard Brexiteers who say that somehow just through political will you can avoid a hard border that doesn't make sense".

"What we are not doing is putting contingency plans in place that would result in border infrastructure between the two jurisdictions on this island".

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