Brexit Bites, 3 May 2018

May 03, 2018

EU Chief negotiator Michel Barnier visited the border region this week and said that the  EU is seeking practical and operational solutions to the border issue. Also next in our series of getting Back to Brexit Basics, we look at what the loss of passporting rights might mean for UK financial services companies.

A border visit

EU Chief negotiator Michel Barnier visited the border region on the island of Ireland during a two day visit this week.  During the course of the visit, Mr Barnier said that the EU is open to any solution that the UK government can put forward to maintain the Good Friday Agreement and keeping the border open.  He said that the EU’s preferred solution was the backstop arrangement which would see Northern Ireland continue to follow EU rules.

Speaking at the all island Civic Dialogue in Dundalk, Mr Barnier said “The backstop is not there to change the UK's red lines. It is there because of the UK's red lines.  The UK's decision to leave the Single Market and the Customs Union creates a risk that the hard border will return. This is why it is necessary to have a self-standing backstop solution.”

Mr Barnier said that Ireland has the full support of the EU and the EU is “not playing tactics with Ireland’s vital interests… and that the EU is “seeking practical, practical and operational, solutions to a complex problem. No more, no less.”