European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warns Britain, says 'we are all Irish' on Brexit 

Juncker's comments reflected the EU's refusal to advance on trade talks until a breakthrough was found on the stalled question of how to avoid border checks between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Published: 03rd July 2018 11:34 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd July 2018 11:34 PM   |  A+A-

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. (File photo | AP)

By AFP

STRASBOURG: European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker today said the EU stood firmly with Ireland in Brexit talks, just ahead of a crunch UK cabinet meeting which he said the bloc will follow closely.

Juncker addressed the European Parliament at the start of a crucial week for British Prime Minister Theresa May who will gather her divided ministers on Friday to thrash out the trade ties Britain wants with the EU after Brexit.

"We have been waiting for months for the White Paper of 10 Downing Street and we will analyse it on its merits," Juncker said in French, referring to the May government's expected proposal.

"But I want to say here that we will not accept the isolation of the Irish question so that it remains the only unresolved issue at the end of the negotiations," he said.

"All of us, we are Irish," concluded former Luxembourg prime minister Juncker, this time speaking in English.

Juncker's comments reflected the EU's refusal to advance on trade talks until a breakthrough was found on the stalled question of how to avoid border checks between British Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland after Brexit.

European Union president Donald Tusk also urged May to deliver when she assembles her warring ministers at her Chequers country retreat.

"We are now looking forward to the White Paper from the UK, and we very much hope that it will bring the necessary clarity, realism, and impetus to these negotiations," Tusk told MEPs.

However, Tusk concurred with Juncker that this must come with a satisfying answer on Ireland as well.

"The sooner we get a precise UK proposal on the Irish border, the better the chance to finalise the Brexit negotiations this year," he said.

In the buildup to her make-or-break cabinet meeting, the embattled May met on Tuesday with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, which will be followed by a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday.

Less than nine months before Britain leaves the EU in March 2019, the government has yet to set out exactly what it wants, and progress in the negotiations remains slow.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp