Published: Wed, October 10, 2018

Border checks could even include lasagne, says Dodds

Border checks could even include lasagne, says Dodds

Brexit negotiators from both sides have been locked in intense discussions this week, trying to overcome differences on the biggest outstanding hurdle to a deal - how to keep the Ireland-UK border open after Britain leaves the European Union in March.

"If even unionists in Northern Ireland care less about the territorial integrity of the United Kingdom than pursuing Brexit, then it really raises questions about the type of union we're in, and indeed what unionism means", she said.

If 40 of her lawmakers voted against a possible deal, the fate of the government and exit process would depend on the opposition Labour Party, which has indicated it will vote against nearly any deal May might secure.

Following a meeting in Brussels with the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, DUP leader Arlene Foster dismissed suggestions that she was ready to soften her position, and said her party would not accept any new regulatory checks on goods crossing the Irish Sea.

Mrs May, meanwhile, urged MPs across the Commons to act in the national interest and back a Brexit deal amid warnings that "decisive" progress is needed in the negotiations before a crunch Brussels summit next week.

The flow of Brexit-centric headlines continues through the week, and the UK Times is out with notes on UK Prime Minister Theresa, who looks set to chain down her own Conservative party within the UK's parliament in an effort to push through a Brexit compromise.

All four, however, believe Mrs May might have to move towards a Canada-style deal if the European Union rejects Chequers again, with the majority of the cabinet now favouring a trade deal over Mrs May's soft Brexit plan.

If 40 Tories rebelled against the PM it could mean her Brexit deal would fail to get Parliamentary approval and she would need Labour votes to get it through. If you're the Prime Minister, you do have to listen to colleagues, ' he said.

Mrs Dodds says now veterinary certificates are checked for animals coming into NI, with physical checks carried out on 10% of those.

She told reporters in Brussels: "We've always said there's only one red line in these matters".

"If we followed Mr Barnier's advice, my information is that those checks would become 100%, although with a veterinary agreement in a future trade deal, that might be reduced somewhat", she said.

He repeated his call for the cabinet to ditch the Chequers plan, which envisages a free trade area for goods based on a "common rulebook", and go for a looser free trade agreement like the Ceta deal between the European Union and Canada.

But Mr Barnier's comments suggest there is still a long way to go before the crucial issues are settled.

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