Belfast Telegraph

UK Government urged to propose practical alternatives over Irish border

The UK in a Changing Europe released a detailed assessment of what the British Government must address in its Brexit white paper.

An academic think tank has warned that the British Government must propose practical alternatives to the European Union’s backstop solution to the Irish border when it publishes its white paper.

The UK in a Changing Europe released a detailed assessment of what the British Government must address in its Brexit white paper after UK Cabinet ministers agreed to a plan on Friday.

Professor David Phinnemore, professor of European politics at Queen’s University Belfast, contributed to the wide-ranging report in which he addressed the most pressing issues involving Brexit and the Republic of Ireland.

The report argues that Downing Street must provide a credible plan for a customs relationship, setting out a proposal that is acceptable to the EU and is feasible both practically and financially.

The white paper must address the often conflicting interests within and between sectors addressing the high levels of uncertainty afflicting a number of economic sectors including fisheries and agriculture Think tank report

It said that while it acknowledges the significant political constraints within which Prime Minister Theresa May is having to act, the UK Government cannot “cherry-pick” parts of the single market.

The report states that the UK will have to shift its red lines or accept an inferior deal.

The 36-page report, which was written by leading academics, also states that Mrs May’s Government must allow for continued North-South co-operation in the island of Ireland.

It also states that it should “propose what kind of governance and dispute settlement arrangement” it wants and decide on the institutions it wants to govern future relations with the EU as well as setting out details on the UK’s own governance arrangements.

The report adds: “The white paper must address the often conflicting interests within and between sectors addressing the high levels of uncertainty afflicting a number of economic sectors including fisheries and agriculture.

“It must choose its preferred model for managing the financial sector and recognise a trade-off between regulatory autonomy and access to EU markets in financial services and indicate what the choice will be.”

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