politics

Brexit Deal Needs Northern Irish Assurances, May Ally Says

Arlene Foster 

Photographer: Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images

The Brexit withdrawal treaty needs to include an explicit guarantee that no border will be placed in the Irish Sea, according to Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster.

In a deal agreed in December, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May guaranteed no hard border will re-emerge on the island of Ireland after Brexit, with Northern Ireland playing by the same rules as those in the south if all else fails. At the same time, May gave an assurance that no barriers between Northern Ireland and the rest of the U.K. will come into play. That second promise was left out of the European Union’s draft text, published last week.

“December agreement needs to be translated fully and not some elements of it dismissed in order to fulfill one particular outcome,” Foster said before a meeting with Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, on Tuesday. “The draft legal text produced last week is not a full and faithful representation. It is utterly unacceptable for Northern Ireland to be treated separately from the rest of the United Kingdom as set out in the draft EU legal text.

“We will never support any such concept and the EU need to realise such concepts will never be accepted and agreed by the UK.”

    Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE