Ireland and European Union demand solutions to post-Brexit border issue

Ireland and European Union demand solutions to post-Brexit border issue

The informal discussion came on the same day European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier also held talks with Mr Varadkar.

Ireland's Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar greets the President of the European Council, Jean-Claude Juncker as he arrives at Government buildings in Dublin, Ireland June 21, 2018.

"I am strongly against any temptation to try to isolate Ireland".

The BIC brings together representatives of the Irish and British governments, the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey crown dependencies.

But he said that no deal is as good as membership of the EU.

"The European Council expresses its concern that no substantial progress has yet been achieved on agreeing a backstop solution for Ireland/Northern Ireland", the draft conclusions, seen by Reuters, said.

On Friday President Juncker met Irish president Michael D Higgins at his official residence in Dublin's Phoenix Park.

This morning he is due to address a joint sitting of both houses of the Irish parliament, the Oireachtas.

The council will also talk about the political situation in Northern Ireland and Mr Varadkar is expected to reiterate his regret that no Northern Ireland ministers will be at the British-Irish Council summit.

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But there will be no withdrawal agreement without a fully operation backstop.

This week the European Union warned that more work was needed on how to deal with the 300-mile frontier post-Brexit.

However, there was a wide gap between Leave and Remain voters, with 55 per cent of those who chose to stay in the EU saying a soft border was more important than leaving the customs union, while 66 per cent of those who backed Brexit saying they would accept a hard border.

He's being joined by the EU's Chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier.

The Government says it will and Labour is also committed to taking Britain out of the European Union, despite significant unrest on the back benches.

He said: "Working together is exactly what people all across the United Kingdom want to see their respective governments doing".

"The government has had two years to work this one out".

"This government must desist from overselling minimal progress as big political wins, which is what was done with the backstop in December, when we were told it was "rock solid", "cast iron" and "bullet proof" although it still remains to be agreed some six months later".

"And it's not looking good going forward either". In May, the prime minister wrote to the European Union to say there'd be a backstop. "That's not fair and it's not what's best for Britain".

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