Negotiations over a “hard border” in Northern Ireland has become a “real problem” in the United Kingdom’s continued Brexit discussions with the European Union, the BBC News reported Monday.
The EU reportedly wants to prevent a hard border in Northern Ireland that would include physical checks. British prime minister Theresa May has added, though, that any backstop arrangement applies to the United Kingdom as a whole and not just Northern Ireland, the BBC News stated.
The impasse is threatening the possibility of a deal being worked out between the United Kingdom and the EU by the time the country is expected to break away from the European Union in March 2019.
The union has provided a single market and a customs union that allowed for friction-free trade between members, BBC News wrote. UK negotiators have been negotiating a deal to lessen the blow of having those advantages go away when Brexit takes effect.
The British broadcaster wrote that while both the UK and the European Union wants to avoid a hard border with Northern Ireland, they are struggling to figure out a way that can be accomplished – and agreeing on it.
May has rejected a European Union proposal of the Northern Ireland “backstop to the backstop” proposal that would place a customs border in the Irish Sea, according to The Guardian Monday.
May’s Democratic Unionist Party allies have pushed May not to give in to the EU’s proposal, leaving negotiations slowed, the newspaper said.
“Given the way in which the EU has behaved and the corner they’ve put Theresa May into, there’s no deal which I can see at present which will command a majority in the House of Commons,” Sammy Wilson, spokesman for the Democratic Unionist, told the Belfast NewsLetter.
“So it is probably inevitable that we will end up with a no deal scenario. … I think that anybody looking at it objectively would say that what is on offer from the EU is a far worse deal than a no deal, and therefore she’d be mad to be railroaded into accepting it.”
Wilson blamed the European Union for placing “demands” on the UK that would ensure that no deal would be reached, the newsletter stated.
“She (Theresa May) will not get what the EU are demanding through the Commons,” Wilson told the publication. “Given the intransigence that we’ve seen from the EU, I think that it’s more and more inevitable that we’re going to finish up with no deal.”