Draft EU Brexit text not faithful to December deal, Arlene Foster claims

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The party may also stress that after Brexit, Northern Ireland companies must have unfettered access to markets across the UK.

Michel Barnier had "overreached" in suggesting that Northern Ireland could effectively stay in the customs union and single market after Brexit, Foster told the commission official during a meeting in Brussels.

Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster said after a meeting with the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, that there can be no division between Northern Ireland and the rest of the U.K.to accommodate for a soft border with the EU.

Ms Foster described the EU's draft withdrawal agreement published last week was unacceptable.

"That is his interpretation, we don't think it's a fair interpretation of the joint report from December and therefore work needs to be done on this now".

The DUP leader met with the EU's chief Brexit negotiator today and insisted his current proposals to avoid a hard border are "utterly unacceptable" and would be "economically catastrophic" for the province. At the same time, May gave an assurance that no barriers between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom will come into play.

Northern Ireland will be the UK's only border with the EU.

"I am happy to say we have a shared understanding that there can not be a withdrawal agreement, much less an agreement on any future relationship between Britain and the European Union, in the absence of an answer to the Irish question", Mrs McDonald said.

Quick guide Why is the Irish border a stumbling block for Brexit? It's driving a coach and horses through the EU's principles of no hard borders.

Speaking to RTE's Morning Ireland programme, he said more detail was now needed from the UK Government.

Foster, whose party's eight MPs give the prime minister a working majority in parliament, said she had put in clear terms to Barnier the strength of feeling in her party in opposition to such a development. "We are entering into a negotiation around these issues and we wanted him to understand why we felt so strongly about the draft European Union legal text as it now stands", Mrs Foster added.

"We feel that the current draft legal text has omissions in it". She said that the infrastructure on that border largely related to checking the movement of people rather than goods, which moved freely.


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