UK PM May takes Brexit trip to Northern Irish border

By clodagh kilcoyne BELLEEK, Northern Ireland, (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May arrived on Thursday in Northern Ireland, whose border with EU-member Ireland has become one of the biggest impediments to reaching a deal to leave the European Union. May is still reeling from the resignation last week of former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who in parliament on Wednesday singled out her treatment of the border as the biggest mistake of her negotiations with the EU for a smooth exit from the bloc next year. May's Brexit 'white paper', the policy document which prompted Johnson's resignation, proposes negotiating the closest possible commercial links for goods trade with the bloc to protect businesses and to fulfil a commitment to avoid having infrastructure on the border.

Reuters July 20, 2018 01:08:13 IST
UK PM May takes Brexit trip to Northern Irish border

UK PM May takes Brexit trip to Northern Irish border

By clodagh kilcoyne

BELLEEK, Northern Ireland, (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May arrived on Thursday in Northern Ireland, whose border with EU-member Ireland has become one of the biggest impediments to reaching a deal to leave the European Union.

May is still reeling from the resignation last week of former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who in parliament on Wednesday singled out her treatment of the border as the biggest mistake of her negotiations with the EU for a smooth exit from the bloc next year.

May's Brexit 'white paper', the policy document which prompted Johnson's resignation, proposes negotiating the closest possible commercial links for goods trade with the bloc to protect businesses and to fulfil a commitment to avoid having infrastructure on the border.

The 500-kilometre (300 mile) border has been largely invisible since army checkpoints were taken down after a 1998 peace deal ended three decades of violence between the region's pro-British majority and an Irish nationalist minority. Over 3,600 died.

Politicians have warned that the re-imposition of physical infrastructure when it becomes the EU's external border would anger Irish nationalists in Northern Ireland who aspire to unification with the Republic of Ireland and help militants opposed to the peace deal to recruit new members.

May has refused to accept a "backstop" solution proposed by the European Union in which Northern Ireland would remain closely aligned with the European Union's single market and customs union on the grounds that it would create a border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom.

But she has said she hopes that close regulatory alignment on goods trade between the United Kingdom and the European Union would allow the border to remain open.

Johnson on Wednesday told parliament that May had unnecessarily let the "readily soluble" border issue "become so politically charged as to dominate the debate" pushing May towards a close alignment with the EU he described as a "miserable, permanent limbo".

The first stop in May's visit was the border village of Belleek in Fermanagh, the home county of pro-British Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster.

She arrived in Belleek by helicopter to a "smattering of applause", a Sky News reporter said, before touring a pottery factory with Foster.

"This visit will enable Mrs May to speak with people who live, work and travel across the much talked about Irish border on a daily basis," Foster said in an earlier statement.

May will also meet members of Foster's party, which provides 10 votes in Britain's lower house of parliament that the prime minister needs to govern.

On Friday she will meet the leadership of the largest Irish nationalist party, Sinn Fein.

Northern Ireland has been without a regional government since January 2017, when Sinn Fein pulled out of a power-sharing government with the DUP and extended talks to re-establish it have failed.

(Additional reporting by Ian Graham; Writing by Conor Humphries; Editing by Toby Chopra)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Oil rises 2% as OPEC complies with production cuts
Business

Oil rises 2% as OPEC complies with production cuts

By Jessica Resnick-Ault NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices strengthened on Wednesday, as OPEC and its allies were seen complying with a pact to cut oil supply in September, even as concerns loomed that recovery in fuel demand will be stalled by soaring global coronavirus cases. Early in the day crude was boosted by a bullish stock market. Even as equities whipsawed on pandemic worries, oil stayed higher, buoyed by expectations that OPEC could staunch a supply glut

Tesla's back-to-back price cuts bring sticker on U.S. Model S below $70,000
Business

Tesla's back-to-back price cuts bring sticker on U.S. Model S below $70,000

By Tina Bellon and C Nivedita (Reuters) - Tesla Inc will further cut the price of its Model S "Long Range" sedan in the United States to $69,420, the electric carmaker's chief executive, Elon Musk, announced in a tweet https://bit.ly/2H0JCP0 on Wednesday. The anticipated drop marks the second time this week Tesla has cut the price for the high-end sedan, following a 4% cut of the Model S's price in the United States on Tuesday to $71,990.

Trump cites teenaged son's bout with coronavirus in calling for schools to reopen
World

Trump cites teenaged son's bout with coronavirus in calling for schools to reopen

By Jeff Mason DES MOINES, Iowa (Reuters) - Under siege over his handling of the novel coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump on Wednesday cited what he said was his son's mild bout of the virus as a reason why American schools should reopen as soon as possible. Trump made the comment about his son, Barron, as the president swept into Iowa on a mission to shore up support in battleground states that he won in 2016 but is in danger of losing to Democrat Joe Biden barely three weeks before the election. First lady Melania Trump announced in a statement earlier in the day that the virus that struck both her and her husband had also infected their 14-year-old son