Published: Tue, April 09, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

United Kingdom required to present specific plan for another Brexit extension

United Kingdom required to present specific plan for another Brexit extension

The Irish leader said that he believed it to be "extremely unlikely" that any of the European Union member nations would reject giving London an extension, although he added that the British government must present a detailed action plan.

"You have our full support".

Barnier said that the most important aim of his trip to Ireland, the fifth of its kind for him as a chief Brexit negotiator of the EU, is to take stock of the latest developments in London and to discuss the summit meeting of the European Council convened by its president Donald Tusk in Brussels on Wednesday.

He reiterated that, although he wishes to see a deal ratified, contingency planning for a no-deal Brexit has intensified in Ireland, and that Ireland would be open to an extension.

Mr Barnier added that the border backstop arrangement remained the "only solution" to "maintain the status quo on the island of Ireland".

In that scenario, Barnier said on Wednesday, the 27 European Union partners agree that a backstop is the "only solution" to avoid a hard border between Ireland and Britain's province of Northern Ireland.

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He said he sincerely hoped it would be possible to find consensus in Westminster, but that if a no-deal outcome occurred, it would be a "shared challenge" between Ireland and the EU.

But Conservative MP for Chelsea and Fulham Greg Hands said he was more inclined to believe the German political party Christain Democratic Union (CDU), who say they will move "quickly" to secure a deal with the United Kingdom in the case of a no deal.

Speaking in Dublin alongside Taioseach Leo Varadkar on Monday evening, Mr Barnier said: "I have said many times before that we can be much more ambitious in our future relationship with the UK".

"From Ireland's perspective, we are open to extending the deadline to allow these discussions to continue their course".

Asked whether he felt Theresa May was showing enough willingness to compromise on her Brexit red lines, Mr Coveney replied: "I think everybody understands that she has moved onto a new path".

Meanwhile, Mr Macron stressed: "We will never abandon Ireland or the Irish people no matter what happens, because this solidarity is the very goal of the European project".

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