Irish officials dismiss Boris Johnson’s Brexit offer as ‘unacceptable’

epa07447789 (28/28) The sculpture 'Hands Across the Divide' by northern Irish sculptor Maurice Harron is seen in Londonderry in northern Ireland, Britain, 01 March 2019. On maps of Ireland, a line cuts across the north of the island like a scar, dividing Northern Ireland from the larger Republic of Ireland. That line is both physical and symbolic, signaling the geographic separation of two countries as well as their historical, social and religious differences. The reality of the Irish border is complex. Today, it is no longer a ?hard? border, though crossings are littered with rusting customs posts from another time. Often a change in road markings or the color of the tarmac are the only indicators that you have crossed into another country. It is possible to drive along a road and cross the border two or three times without even knowing it. The border, which stretches 499 kilometers (310 miles), was established in 1921 by the Anglo-Irish Treaty whereby 26 Catholic counties were granted autonomous status as the Republic of Ireland and six northern counties, inhabited mostly by Protestants loyal to the British monarchy, remained within the UK as Northern Ireland. The division of the island and the discrimination of the Catholic population in Northern Ireland led to a conflict between republican militias, mostly Catholics calling for union with the rest of the island, and unionist paramilitaries from largely Protestant areas who wanted to remain part of the UK. Decades of political violence, known as The Troubles, which began in the late 1960s and continued until the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, cost the lives of more than 3,000 people. After the signing of the international peace deal, bloodshed fell considerably, bringing an end to the need for fences and border barriers, and Irish citizens were able to move freely around the island. Every day, about 30,000 citizens cross the border, which can be intersected at some 275 points. Brexit, the UK'

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Boris Johnson’s final “take it or leave it” Brexit offer to Brussels is in danger of being dead on arrival after it was rounded on by government and opposition parties in Ireland.

The prime minister’s proposals were described as unworkable, unacceptable and illegal under British domestic law, which bans any new infrastructure on the Irish border that did not exist before Brexit day.

“If this is the final offer, then there is not a deal to be had,” said one EU official.

Ireland’s European affairs minister, Helen McEntee, said the plans would not be acceptable to Dublin and raised doubts that Johnson was sincere in wanting a deal.

She said: “What we are talking about again is picking and choosing certain parts of the single market that would be aligned in Northern Ireland. It is talking about a time limit, which again is not acceptable.”

The Invisible Border
 The sculpture ‘Hands Across the Divide’ by northern Irish sculptor Maurice Harron is seen in Londonderry in northern Ireland, Britain.

 

Via The Guardian

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