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UK to 'concede' on single market and customs union - reports


Tánaiste Simon Coveney told RTé that he thinks the border would “look like what it does today”.

副总理Simon Coveney在接受爱尔兰早间新闻时表示:爱尔兰边界将看起来与现在相同。


THE UK WILL concede that there will be no “regulatory divergence” relating to the single market and customs union.


The UK concession to EU negotiators means there will be no divergence of the rules covering the EU single market and customs union on the island of Ireland post Brexit, according to RTé News’ Europe editor Tony Connolly.

据欧洲新闻报欧洲编辑Tony Connolly说,英国对欧盟谈判代表的让步意味着,在爱尔兰的欧盟单一市场和关税同盟的规定上,不会有任何分歧。

A series of meetings have been taking place today in Government Buildings this morning to decide a wording on the Irish issues affected by Brexit – with the most controversial of these issues being an agreement on the Irish border.


Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is currently meeting with party leaders before making a public statement from Leinster House’s press centre at 2.30pm. Joining him will be the Tánaiste, Simon Coveney, and Minister of State for European Affairs, Helen McEntee.

总理 Leo Varadkar目前正在与党内领导人会晤,并于下午2点30分在莱因斯特的新闻中心发表公开声明。参加会晤的是副总理Simon Coveney,以及欧洲事务部长Helen McEntee。

Agreement between Ireland and the UK on the border issue is required for Brexit negotiations to progress onto crucial trade matters following a special EU summit on 15 December.


A crucial meeting takes place later today between European Commission president Donald Tusk and British Prime Minister Theresa May.


The European Union says its working lunch in Brussels is the “absolute deadline” for progress on separation issues, or else it will be unable to approve the opening of talks on a future trade relationship at the summit later this month.


On Friday, Tusk said that the EU will not accept Britain’s offer if Dublin is not satisfied with proposals for future border arrangements.


Speaking this morning, Irish ministers have said that no such proposals have been agreed.


“There was progress made between the two negotiating teams on Thursday and we were looking at draft texts and that’s continued into the weekend,” Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney told RTé’s Morning Ireland.

“两国谈判小组周四取得了进展,我们正在研究草案文本,并在周末继续进行,”副总理和外交事务部长Simon Coveney在接受爱尔兰早间新闻时表示。

“We’re trying to deal with issues that are very important to us and we believe essential for the island of Ireland as a whole. There’s this very difficult issue of getting wording that both sides can agree on in preventing a hard border.”


“Nobody wants a hard border on this island but our fear would be that it would be an unintended consequence because people can’t find a way of resolving that issue in the future and we cannot allow that.”


Giving an update on RTé’s News at One, Coveney said that they were at a “much better place now than we have been in Brexit negotiations at any point to date”.


He also hinted that there would be no hard border on the island of Ireland when he said:


I suspect the border will look much like what it looks today. We have language now that gives us the safeguards we need and reassurance that hard border will not re-emerge.


Speaking on BBC Radio 4′s Today programme, Ireland’s Minister for European Affairs also stated the final text of a deal has not yet been agreed.


“I certainly think we are making progress, a huge amount of work has been done over the weekend. Officials have been meeting throughout the weekend and late into the night,” she said.


Unfortunately I don’t think we will have a final text that we can approve. However, for us there are a number of key issues that we have wanted to see progress on that I know progress has been made over the weekend.


Sticking point


The UK is keen to move on to trade issues, but the Irish border is now proving to be the main sticking point preventing this.


Worries that the return of checkpoints could reignite the sectarian divisions that led to decades of conflict in Northern Ireland have led to calls for London to come up with a way to avoid a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.


Key issues include the common travel area, the free movement of goods and people between Ireland and the North and customs arrangements.


Fears over the rights of more than three million Europeans living in Britain after 2019 have also been raised, with Brussels saying they must still be protected by EU law.