Juncker: ‘More answers’ needed from United Kingdom on Ireland

A UK Government spokesman said: "When we leave the EU the whole of the UK - including Wales and Scotland - will be leaving the customs union and single market".

In a triumphant statement, Mark Daly, a member of a top Irish Parliamentary Committee, said "Brexit and the changing demographics of Northern Ireland" are going to end the province's United Kingdom membership.

"We have advanced on some separation issues for which European businesses need certainty, such as customs, VAT, Euratom and certificates for goods", Barnier said in a statement accompanying a joint declaration from Brussels and London.

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

The government will also call for a more intense effort from Theresa May to deliver on the deal negotiated to avoid a hard border with Northern Ireland.

"Today's address not only afforded us the opportunity to hear directly from President Juncker, it also allowed for an honest and frank exchange of views across the parliament".

He was backed up by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who said: "Ireland is not alone".

Britain's plan for a temporary customs "backstop" is "not acceptable" and any fall-back option can not be time-limited, the European Parliament's chief Brexit co-ordinator has told MPs.

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A time-limited "backstop" option agreed in principle but not in detail between Britain and the European Union has been interpreted by Europe as meaning Northern Ireland would effectively stay within the bloc's regulatory rules on issues like customs to preserve the now invisible and frictionless border arrangements.

Hardly. Ministers are divided over what sort of future relationship they want with Brexiteers like Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson pressing for a clean break while Remainers like Chancellor Philip Hammond want to keep as close as possible to the EU.

"I would like to recall that the withdrawal agreement must contain a fully operational backstop solution for Ireland and Northern Ireland".

"The backstop paper has been amended and now expresses, in much more detail, the time limited nature of our proposal - something the prime minister and David Davis have always been committed to".

Mrs May faces an European Union summit on 28 June, at which both sides were hoping to demonstrate progress in the Brexit negotiations.

Jean-Claude Juncker will discuss Brexit ahead of this month's European Council meeting of leaders in Brussels.

This week the European Union warned that more work was needed on how to deal with the 300-mile frontier post-Brexit.

On Friday he will meet President Michael D Higgins and visit Croke Park where he will see a demonstration of gaelic football and hurling.

  • Sonia Alvarado