‘Ireland is in the driving seat’ Dublin has EU backing to DELAY trade talks for months

Posted on Nov 28 2017 - 2:49am by admin

Former Irish Europe Minister, Lucinda Creighton, claimed there was “no question” of Ireland using its veto because Brussels will back whatever decision they come to.

She said: “There never really has been a question of an Irish veto because the EU position will ultimately be determined by whether Dublin is happy and can accept the wording that is on the table in December.”

The former minister who now advises companies on Brexit insisted that Ireland was “absolutely” in the driving seat.

The future of the border between The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland has replaced the Brexit divorce bill as the main obstacle to trade talks.

Dublin has insisted that they would reject any kind of physical border with Northern Ireland and will block Brexit talk progress until they have sufficient guarantees.

While the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), who prop up Theresa May’s government will reject any deal that would see any lines of division between Northern Ireland and the mainland UK.

DUP leader Arlene Foster said: “No such internal barriers will be countenanced and that as we joined the then-European Community as one nation, will leave as one United Kingdom.”

The serious red lines drawn by parties on all side of the debate make for a stubborn deadlock with the EU standing firmly behind any decision made by the Republic.

Ms Creighton said: “I think it is very interesting how robustly and firmly the rest of the EU has stood behind Ireland and will continue to up to the summit.”

The alliance between the wider EU and Ireland coupled with the firmness of the DUP position has left Mrs May with a lack of options and running out of time as the December deadline to move talks on approaches.

The former Irish Europe Minister claimed that the Brussels bloc will adopt the Dublin position rendering its veto surplus to requirements.

Ms Creighton also revealed that negotiation tactics from Ireland helped to get the bloc onside by targeting key times for its messaging.

She said on Newsnight: “The reason the Irish government has engaged in such strong messaging on this and has taken such strong positioning in the last number of weeks, in particular, is because this is the period of maximum leverage, this is the time that the Irish government can really play its hand.”

Former Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern has suggested simply “turning a blind eye” could solve the border crisis.

Mr Ahern said everything must be considered to avoid a hard border.

He said today: “Theresa May, to take her at her word, she has constantly said she doesn’t want a physical border.

“The EU doesn’t want a physical border, the Irish government doesn’t so you are left down with the one alternative: to make technology work in most cases and to turn a blind eye to those areas that can’t come in within technology.”

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