In an interview with Sky News on Tuesday, British Prime Minister Theresa May has stated that there is no desire for a hard border between Northern Ireland and The Republic of Ireland once Brexit is finalised.
“We have been very clear, and the European Union agrees with us, that there should no physical infrastructure on the border,” said the British Prime Minister during the interview.
Mrs May went on to say that: “It is important … that we don’t return to the hard border of the past.”
Re-assemble the Assembly
The British leader has also made a commitment to do everything possible to restore the power sharing arrangements in the Northern Ireland administration and she went on to say that “I believe very firmly that the decisions for Northern Ireland are best made in Northern Ireland in that devolved administration.”
This week, MEPs in Strasbourg voted by 557 votes to 92 in favour of preventing further negotiations to progress unless there is a major breakthrough in the three major issues of outstanding fees, the situation regarding EU and British citizens and the Irish border.
When asked about European Parliament’s vote against moving Brexit talks to the next stage, Mrs May said that she was not surprised at the decision.
“I don’t think that vote was particularly an unexpected one,”
“I have put an offer out there as what the future partnership for the UK and the EU could be. Now we wait to hear from the EU what their response is,” she said.
Boris is optimistic, others are not
Speaking at the Conservative annual conference, British Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson claimed that negotiations were in good order and that he felt that there would be a favourable outcome soon. The mood around the conference however was not as optimistic as Mr Johnson’s and it is now believed that general frustration is settling in with many of the members of the Conservative party who are unsure as to what the final deal with the EU will be.
And despite claims of progress by the British Government, there is still no real solution as to how exactly the border between the north and south of Ireland will be arranged. Usually at this stage of an issue such as this, there tends to be leaks of some kind indicating how a situation will be handled but giving that none have been revealed here, it is a worrying sign that the British Government has no idea what to do with the Irish question.
It now seems that the only sensible solution is for Britain to remain within the customs union at the very least and that may look like an option that they simply won’t have an alternative to.