Natasha Turak | CNBC
European Chief Brexit Negotiator Michel Barnier visits the Northern Irish border areas with Peter Sheridan of charity Co-operation Ireland in County Lough, March 2017. The issue of the Irish border has emerged as a major obstacle in Brexit negotiations between the EU as well as UK.
Ever since the start of Brexit negotiations, diplomats as well as political leaders across the European continent have repeatedly insisted which the 27 surviving members must remain united behind EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier as well as his colleagues whenever they sit down across the table coming from the U.K’s team led by David Davis.
which unity has been never more apparent or relevant than over the past week or two, ahead of U.K. leader Theresa May’s meeting with EU Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker.
Ahead of Monday’s “crunch lunch,” Juncker’s EU Council counterpart Donald Tusk had traveled to Dublin for talks, where the item became clear which the EU’s position was increasingly focused on supporting the Republic of Ireland, as the item sought clarity as well as — in some sense — concessions coming from the British government about a solution for its border with Northern Ireland.
although when I had arrived in Dublin a few days earlier in late November, the country was from the throes of a full-blown political crisis, with then deputy prime minister Frances Fitzgerald under mounting pressure to resign on the back of a whistleblower scandal.
Earlier last month Fitzgerald as well as I had met in Dubai, Fitzgerald hewed to the Irish government’s oft-repeated line which there could be no return to a hard border, as well as said the onus squarely fell on the British government to develop a workable solution.
although just two weeks later she tendered her resignation, allowing what looked like an intractable political crisis to pass, as well as the threat of an imminent election to subside. as well as significantly, there was not a chink of daylight between Fitzgerald’s position as well as those of her successor, Foreign Minister Simon Coveney, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, or indeed the Irish commissioner in Brussels, Phil Hogan.