UK considering giving Northern Ireland joint UK, EU status
The United Kingdom could propose giving Northern Ireland joint UK and European Union status so it can trade freely with both, in an attempt to break the deadlock in Brexit negotiations, a government official said, APA reports quoting Reuters.
The idea would be to create a 10-mile (16-km)-wide trade buffer zone along the border for local traders such as dairy farmers after the UK leaves the bloc, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The plan is one of several being discussed and may not be proposed to the EU, the official said.
Inspiration for the dual-regulatory system has been taken from Liechtenstein, which is able to operate both the Swiss and the EU-linked European Economic Area regimes at the same time.
But a lawmaker from the Northern Irish party that supports Britain’s minority government dismissed the idea as at best contradictory and said it had not been raised with the party.
“These convoluted arrangements only arise because of the government’s failure to make it clear to the EU that regardless of EU negotiators’ attempts to keep us in the Customs Union and the Single Market, we are leaving,” Democratic Unionist Party MP Sammy Wilson said in a statement.
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