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Responsibility For Protection Of Irish Border Lies With UK Says European Commission

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Brexit and the Northern Irish Border

In its new position, Brussels clearly stipulates that the solution for the Irish border problem is clearly the responsiblity of Britain.

"We therefore welcome greater clarity on the EU Commission's position vis-à-vis the border, the Good Friday Agreement, and the Common Travel Area".

The paper stressed that there should be no return to a hard border "as a result of any new controls placed on the movement of goods between the United Kingdom and the EU" and that the imposition of new customs barriers within the United Kingdom could not be accepted.

"All this could be avoided if the British government took the sensible decision, on leaving the EU, to remain in the single market or at least the customs union".

The EU is also concerned that Britain could use the Border between the North and Republic as a way to circumvent tariffs that could be imposed in a post-Brexit EU-UK trade deal.

Michel Barnier who is the EU's chief negotiator also voiced his concern over the progress of the negotiation so far and Britain's proposal for the border with Ireland.

He has called on Britain to come up with a unique solution to the border question.

Barnier said former Prime Minister David Cameron signed up to the EU's 7-year budget in 2013, and that the British parliament confirmed this.

In a statement the Government has welcomed the paper. These solutions must respect the proper functioning of the internal market and the Customs Union, as well the integrity and effectiveness of the EU's legal order.

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier on Thursday unveiled five position papers on Europe's stance in divorce talks with Britain and argued that London's position on Ireland was deeply misguided.

The European Union wants Britain to protect data it has in storage on continental Europeans after Brexit and maintain bans on cheap imitations of locally branded EU produce like cognac or Parma ham.

Mr Barnier's team also said Irish citizens living in the North must keep their rights as European Union citizens.

The UK should also not discriminate against European Union companies, which are in the process of carrying out state-funded infrastructure projects that have began before the Brexit cut-off day.

Agreeing on a financial settlement proves to be the biggest hurdle for the talks to move onto the second phase of negotiations - on the future relationship between the United Kingdom and the EU.

"Flexible and imaginative solutions will be required to avoid a hard border, including any physical border infrastructure", it stated.

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