Donald Tusk Gives Ireland Veto Over Brexit Deal
The European Union has handed Ireland an effective veto over any Brexit deal, increasing pressure on the prime minister to make further concessions on the border issue, The Times reports.
Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, said any agreement between London and Brussels that was unacceptable to Ireland was also unacceptable to the EU.
Mrs May is due to present plans to unblock the negotiations on Monday. Sources in London and Brussels said they expected talks to continue over the weekend before the prime minister meets Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission. British sources described the meeting as a “staging post” and not a deadline, but EU diplomats warned that time was running out before a summit of EU leaders on December 14.
After talks with Leo Varadkar, the Irish prime minister yesterday, Mr Tusk said he would take the British offer on how to maintain frictionless trade on the Irish border to Dublin to decide if it was good enough. “We have agreed that before proposing guidelines on transition and future relations, I will consult the taoiseach if the UK’s offer is sufficient for the Irish government,” he said. “I realise that for some politicians this may be hard to understand, but Ireland is an EU member while the UK is leaving. The key to the UK’s future lies in Dublin as long as Brexit negotiations continue.”
Mrs May hopes that EU leaders will give the go-ahead for trade talks to start after making significant concessions on money, citizens’ rights and the Irish border, but sources indicated that there were still areas of disagreement. One is thought to be over the role of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in protecting EU citizens’ rights after Britain has left. It is understood the EU wants an automatic right for the ECJ to be consulted on cases in the UK courts, while the UK is proposing that British courts can choose to refer cases where there is ambiguity in European law.
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