EP is concerned about impact of Brexit on Irish border

Although the United Kingdom will continue bilateral defence arrangements with EU member states after Brexit as seen here with British and Polish tanks exercising in Poland it will lose its current influence and power when it comes to Union-level policy

One thing Brexit has taught us is that many British people do not understand Irish politics and geography, writes Denise O'Donoghue.

In the video (below), the Channel 4 crew took to the streets to ask members of the public what they thought the impact of Brexit would be on Ireland. That leaves the sensitive question of the Irish border as the main obstacle in separation talks. The UK can then spend the next decade trying to renegotiate on less favourable terms the 59 trade deals it now enjoys with other countries as a member of the European Union - and, more likely than not, dealing with a renewed IRA insurgency in Northern Ireland.

But those talks were threatened by the Irish government's insistence that Britain needed to confirm in writing that there wouldn't be a return to a hard border with customs posts.

The UK wants to progress negotiations to crucial issues of trade deals after Brexit, arguing that the border issues will be ironed out as these negotiations progress.

Speaking before the European Parliament's constitutional affairs committee on Tuesday, Charles Tannock - who campaigned for the United Kingdom to remain in the European Union - said people in the province should be given a choice.

Irish Government: No physical infrastructure on the border and the same rules on trade on both sides.

The British said they couldn't do that before the December summit.

May will hold talks in Brussels on Monday with European Union chief executive Jean-Claude Juncker and his chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier.

Negotiations on a future trade deal are likely to take some weeks to get going after the December summit, as the European Union will first have to go through a process of drafting guidelines for negotiators - although the basic outline of what might be on offer is already fairly plain.

An EU negotiator told the Times: 'After sufficient progress on withdrawal we will open the next two phases of negotiations, first of all on a transition period and then on the future partnership.

One senior European Union source said the final agreement was unlikely to emerge before the weekend as the Irish push for last-minute concessions before the progress meeting between May and Juncker on Monday. "It's a bit petty isn't it really?" she said.

We're not quite sure what it is that we lost to be honest.

'We need political solutions now and we are not getting them from the UK Government'.

Avoiding a so-called "hard border" on the island of Ireland that many fear could disrupt the peace in Northern Ireland is the last major hurdle before Brexit talks can move to negotiations on Britain's future trade relationship with the EU.

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