05/11/2018

Tony Blair: There Is No Answer To The 'Irish Issue'

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has said there is no solution to the problem of the Irish border, a key sticking point in Brexit negotiations.

An outspoken opponent of Britain's exit from the EU, Mr Blair believes there is no possible deal that current Prime Minister Theresa May can secure which will be good, or even reasonable, for the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

Writing in The Observer, the former Labour leader said the Government has tabled a series of "incompatible demands", which have led to the negotiating impasse.
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"They want a frictionless border in Ireland. That can only happen if Northern Ireland remains in the customs union and single market, at least for goods and agricultural products. But they want the UK to leave the customs union and single market.

"However, they also want Northern Ireland and Britain to be in the same relationship to Europe as each other. And they made a rash commitment last December that the Northern Ireland issue would be resolved as part of the withdrawal agreement, with the border frictionless and with a backstop to guarantee it.

"There is simply no answer to the Irish issue," he added.

Mr Blair, who was a key architect of the Good Friday Agreement, urged all MPs to vote down whatever Brexit deal Mrs May presents to Parliament and to instead push for another referendum.



(JG)

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