Ireland and European Union demand solutions to post-Brexit border issue

Ireland and European Union demand solutions to post-Brexit border issue

Mr Juncker said the Republic "will come first" as Europe counts down to the UK's departure from the EU.

The Irish border issue, which still has to be finally resolved, has come to crystallise all the most hard problems in the Brexit negotiations.

"I will thank President Juncker and Michel Barnier for their ongoing support for Ireland and their show of solidarity throughout the Brexit negotiations".

"These were honest and strong words from President Juncker to the Dáil and Seanad today and perhaps now the penny will finally drop with the Irish government that a hard Brexit is possible and we must accelerate our domestic preparedness", Deputy Chambers said last night.

"We have Ireland backed by 26 member states and by the [European] Commission; this will not change", he added.

'I am strongly against any temptation to isolate Ireland and not to conclude the deal on Ireland.

Ireland's Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar greets the President of the European Council, Jean-Claude Juncker as he arrives at Government buildings in Dublin, Ireland June 21, 2018.

The main focus of the summit in Guernsey will be Brexit and its implications, with further discussions on the current political situation in Northern Ireland.

When the Sinn Féin leadership team met with British Prime Minister Theresa May in London on Wednesday they raised the issue of the need for a City Deal for Derry with her.

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"The British government have been unable to deliver on that, that is frustrating for everybody but if anything the negotiations need to intensify, particularly on the Irish backstop element of the withdrawal agreement", Simon Coveney told national broadcaster RTE.

Leaders of the 27 countries that will remain in the European Union after Britain leaves next year will take stock of negotiations on a withdrawal agreement and on a political declaration on what future relations with London should look like.

This will see the UK retain parts of the EU's customs union in the event of a wider UK-EU agreement finding no solution to the issue; but Brexiteers had become concerned as to whether the proposal would truly be "time-limited", as promised.

They'll meet with the Taoiseach and Tánaiste where the government will raise the lack of delivery on guarantees from the British side.

"My job is to represent my country, Ireland, and to do that as part of the European Union and we remain at the heart of the European Union".

The meetings took place ahead of a European Council summit next week, while Juncker will also address a joint sitting of the Oireachtas.

Juncker later told the country's parliament that the European Union has an "Ireland first" policy when it comes to Brexit negotiations.

"We have less than 10 months to Brexit", he said.

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