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The European Commission (the “Commission”) reacts to the UK’s Position Paper on Northern Ireland

  • Ireland
  • General


The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier is quoted as saying “frictionless trade is not possible outside the single market and customs union”. This is in response to the Position Paper’s approach, which sets out the importance of a seamless and frictionless land border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.  The Position Paper  made it clear that the UK intends to deal with the land border as a matter of priority however it is reported that the Commission will deal with trade issues in the second phase of negotiations once “sufficient progress” had been made on withdrawal issues in the ongoing phase-one discussions.

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