Crucial BREXIT negotiations underway as Ireland prepares for No Deal scenario and UK heading towards election

epa07418926 (26/66) A defaced sign designates the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland on the A13 Road near Londonderry in Britain, 01 March 2019. Neither the UK nor the EU wants a hard border, and the Irish backstop is the mechanism that negotiators agreed upon to prevent that from happening. The open border, a now-invisible, 499-kilometer (310-mile) line running through countryside, farmland and bisecting main roads, is enshrined in an international peace deal that in 1998 helped to extinguish decades of sectarian and political violence in Northern Ireland; a period known as the Troubles. Over 3,000 people died during the Troubles, which saw unionist paramilitaries from largely Protestant areas, who identify as British, and republican militias from largely Catholic areas, who sought a re-unified Ireland, trade terror. Britain is scheduled to leave the European Union on 29 March 2019, two years after Prime Minister Theresa May invoked Article 50, the mechanism to notify the EU of her country's intention to abandon the member's club after the tightly-contested 2016 referendum. The results of that referendum exposed a divided nation. Leave won, claiming 52 percent of the overall vote. Voters in England and Wales came out in favor of leave, while Scotland and Northern Ireland plumped for remain. EPA-EFE/NEIL HALL ATTENTION: For the full PHOTO ESSAY text please see Advisory Notice epa07418899 , epa07418900

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Britain entered another crucial day of negotiations Tuesday to reach an agreement with the European Union three weeks ahead of October 31, the day that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged to pull the UK out of the bloc with or without a deal.

Euronews reports that on Monday, the UK’s chief Brexit official David Frost was in Brussels and Brexit minister Steve Barclay visited the Netherlands in an attempt to drum up support for Johnson’s proposal that Northern Ireland leaves the customs union along with the rest of the UK, but remains in the single market for goods.

But the response in Dublin has been cool on the plan, with Ireland’s Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe was preparing to present a no deal Brexit plan on Tuesday, outlining plans to insulate the country if Britain leaves the EU without an agreement.

Meanwhile the Telegraph reports that a poll found that the public will blame Parliament, Remain MPs and Brussels more than Boris Johnson if Brexit is delayed. The report also indicates that the prospects of a general election in the UK are significantly high and in the event of one, the Tories are expected to focus on No Deal proposition.

Via Euronews /The Telegraph

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