Belfast Telegraph

Britain has two weeks to make border proposals says Coveney

Tanaiste Simon Coveney has said that Britain has two weeks to come up with proposals to solve the Irish border issue.

The Irish Foreign Affairs Minister says a frictionless border must be sorted within that time frame or it will lead to another summer of talks.

On Friday it emerged that Brexit Secretary David Davis was ready to drop his support for technological solutions, after police warned that infrastructure like numberplate recognition cameras would become a target for sectarian attack.

He was reportedly drawing up a new plan based on the “double-hatted” model in place in Liechtenstein, which would allow the province to operate both UK and EU regulations at the same time.

A 10-mile wide “special economic zone” would be created along the 310-mile border, within which local traders could operate under the Republic’s trade rules.

However this idea was rejected by the DUP as 'half-cooked'.

The European Union and Ireland have suggested a 'backstop' option which will allow Northern Ireland to remain under EU regulations if a trade deal cannot be struck.

There has been disagreement between the EU and the British Government as to what exactly the backstop would entail.

"In the next two weeks, we need to see written proposals, it needs to happen two weeks from the summit," Mr Coveney told the Irish Times, ahead of a meeting of the key parties in June.

"If there is no progress on the backstop, we are in for an uncertain summer.

"At this point we need written proposals on the Irish backstop consistent with what was agreed. We await written proposals from the British side."

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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