RBS says Irish border issue is key in bank's post-Brexit future

  • RBS says Irish border issue is key in bank's post-Brexit future

RBS says Irish border issue is key in bank's post-Brexit future

The text unveiled by Barnier includes a "backstop solution", under which Northern Ireland would remain in "full alignment" with Ireland, which is a member of the bloc's single market and customs union.

"When there was a hard border, there was very little commerce, there was very little interaction between the people of Northern Ireland and the people of the Republic, and that led to stereotyping, to the demonisation of others, to attitudes that were based upon acts from the distant past", he said.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May spoke to First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon and First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones after setting out her Brexit priorities and plans for trade relations in a London speech.

The EU presented a draft exit treaty that set out in great detail the so-called fallback option to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland after Brexit.

The question of what to do about the border was dismissed this week as a non-issue by hard-line Brexiteers in May's cabinet, foremost by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who on Tuesday suggested the solution was no more complex than arranging cameras along the frontier to take pictures of license plate numbers passing by, to collect tolls and information.

And two former prime ministers added their voices to the criticism.

Ultimately, the UK's relationship with the EU would be determined by the government's "red lines", he said, reiterating that with Britain ruling out continued freedom of movement and oversight by the European Court of Justice, it couldn't expect close ties.

If adopted by the remaining EU 27 countries at the next EU Council summit in March, the guidelines will become the mandate for EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier as Brexit talks progress later this year. The draft was rejected by May primarily over passages regarding the land border between Northern Ireland and the UK.

She again ruled out a customs union, something that her Labor opponents advocate as a way to avoid disruptive controls at Ireland's EU-UK border.

EU Council President Donald Tusk on Friday last week said that the EU would do that in three weeks "whether the United Kingdom is ready with its vision of our future relations or not".

— A future free-trade agreement between Britain and the EU. That means it could need to set up a hard customs border with the EU.

Mrs May has said her long-term goal is a "bespoke economic partnership", underpinned by a comprehensive free trade agreement guaranteeing tariff-free access to European Union markets for British goods and services. "So, the electorate has every right to reconsider their decision", he said.

The timing of the EUs draft text is being seen as the 28-nation economic blocs attempt to put pressure on May to spell out the exact nature of a future relationship between Britain and the European Union as she gets set to deliver a key Brexit policy speech on Friday.

May's speech comes at a critical time in the Brexit process, with just three weeks left until the European Union is due to agree its negotiating stance for trade talks at a leaders' summit.