Pressure mounting on British government to settle on Irish border dispute in final Brexit deal

Pressure mounting on British government to settle on Irish border dispute in final Brexit deal

Today marks a key juncture in Brexit negotiations, as an informal EU leadership summit concludes in Salzburg and British PM

Union Jack and EU flag hanging before Brexit negotiations in Brussels

Photo: Reuters/Francois Lenoir

Today marks a key juncture in Brexit negotiations, as an informal EU leadership summit concludes in Salzburg and British PM Theresa May meets reporters in London to discuss Brexit.

Ms May and several key ministers spent the summer touring European capitals in an attempt to persuade EU leaders to turn away from the EU stance that has brought negotiations between Britain and the EU to an impasse.

It appears a settlement of the main point of dispute between the UK and the EU—the Irish border—is no closer to being resolved than it was at the beginning of the summer. Brussels is not backing down from its insistence on a fall-back clause that would ensure there would be no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Ms May has recently alluded to the EU stance on the border as “unacceptable”.

After Salzburg, both Ms May’s government and the EU are likely to make a sweeping policy decision. The success of closed-door negotiations on the fall-back clause will determine to what extent both Ms May and the EU express an optimistic outlook on the future of negotiations, especially given a looming EU-imposed autumn deadline for a deal.

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