Brexit Border Deal Could Threaten The UK Government

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney right arrives for an Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels. Coveney told Ireland's RTE radio on Sunday Dec. 3 2017 he's hopeful British proposals on the Irish borde

But any attempt at a solution will have to convince Northern Ireland's pro-Brexit Democratic Unionist Party, whose 10 members of parliament are propping up May's government.

"We are in constant contact on these issues with the Government and during our discussions, we reiterated that United Kingdom-Republic of Ireland arrangements may be necessary as we exit the European Union", she said.

The issue is a major sticking point in the negotiations and must be dealt with before trade talks can begin.

Both the Irish Government and the European Union have consistently warned that Brexit negotiations can not move on to the next phase until "sufficient progress" is made on the border issue.

As Brexit negotiations finally whir into life in the wake of the United Kingdom government's divorce bill agreement, Prime Minister Theresa May is now struggling to reconcile the divergent demands of Brussels, Ireland and her junior Democratic Unionist partners in respect of the Northern Irish border and the European Customs Union.

The Exiting the EU Committee in the House of Commons said it appeared impossible to marry the decision to pull out of the single market and customs union with the intention to create a "frictionless" border.

DUP Party officials have suggested they view convergence as tantamount to keeping Northern Ireland within the customs union - thus creating a new unofficial border between Northern Ireland and the UK.

Mentioning British Prime Minister Theresa May's request that a final offer is put on the table by December 4, Tusk added that after that: "We can assess whether sufficient progress can be made at the upcoming European Council".

Efforts to reach a deal are to intensify with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to hold talks with European Council President Donald Tusk in Dublin tomorrow.

The EU will decide in mid-December whether there has been sufficient progress in Brexit negotiations to consider moving the talks to a further stage where future relations between the United Kingdom and the bloc are discussed.

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