Belfast Telegraph

Coveney says Ireland yet to see written proposals from UK on Brexit deal

The British Government has yet to put forward a written plan to deal with Brexit, the Irish Deputy Premier Simon Coveney has said.

Simon Coveney said it is not unreasonable to expect the party seeking change to put forward solutions (Niall Carson/PA)
Simon Coveney said it is not unreasonable to expect the party seeking change to put forward solutions (Niall Carson/PA)

By Aine McMahon, PA

The British Government has yet to put forward written proposals on the backstop, the Irish Deputy Premier Simon Coveney has said.

“We in the EU are open to a deal but it must achieve the aims of the backstop through a legally operable solution,” he said.

“We await written proposals from the UK side. We simply haven’t seen any written proposals to date.”

“Just because Boris Johnson says the backstop needs to go, doesn’t meant everyone else will respond positively to that because we know the consequences of a no-deal Brexit are significant and pose huge challenges for Ireland, north and south,” he said.

“There is an obligation on the party looking for change to come up with solutions that can deal with the consequences of what they are asking for. If that question can’t be answered, we will not have a deal,” he said.

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“If the current position from the UK side is that the backstop needs to be removed then it is a perfectly reasonable request by us to say that creates huge problems and how are you going to solve it and what are you going to replace it with?” said Mr Coveney.

When asked when the public will be informed of when and where checks on the border will take place, he said: “First of all, we won’t sign up to any agreement that requires checks with the UK in terms of a permanent trading relationship linked to Brexit.”

Mr Coveney said any checks would be a “temporary, emergency measure” to protect Ireland’s place in the single market.

He said he would have clarity on the location of the checks before Britain leaves the EU on October 31.

“The response to a no-deal Brexit will be checks somewhere. I don’t think they will be near the border,” he said.

PA

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