The UK and EU start intensive talks on the most troublesome topic in Brexit negotiation today, the Irish Border. Both sides agreed, back in December, on the principle of avoiding a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. However, there are key differences on the way to fulfil this principle. And there seems to be no agreeable solution yet. The negotiation team will try to address areas like customs, food safety, animal health and regulations of goods and come up with something for next EU summit in June.
Last month, EU proposed a backstop option if there will be no solution on Irish border. And that is, Northern Ireland will remain in the customs union. But that was bluntly objected by UK Prime Minister Theresa May.
Brexit Secretary David Davis reiterated that position on Sunday. Davis said that while UK agreed to a “backstop”, it will not be the one as proposed by the EU. He remained optimistic and said it’s “overwhelmingly likely” to solve the problem in the context of a trade and customs agreement. And he added, “there are ways of dealing with this. You can’t just say ‘we haven’t done it anywhere else’ – we haven’t attempted to do it anywhere else.”