UK envoys scramble to unravel Irish border deal

UK envoys scramble to unravel Irish border deal

A week before UK Prime Minister Theresa May is finally due to put her repeatedly delayed Brexit agreement to a parliamentary vote, her negotiators continue “talks” in Brussels.

Attorney General Geoffrey Cox is in talks with the European Commission today (Tuesday) over legally binding changes to the British border in Ireland.

UK negotiators are looking at whether the 1969 Vienna Convention on the law of treaties could provide an escape route, according to Bloomberg. The convention sets out when nations can abandon prior commitments.

The commission has repeatedly insisted the Irish backstop would not be the insurance policy needed to ensure no new hard border in Ireland if it was time-limited, or if London could bring it to an end unilaterally.

Cox dismissed a claim made in the Telegraph that he had “abandoned” attempts to secure a time limit or one-way exit mechanism from the Irish deal.

The legal adviser tweeted: “The DT reporting of the last 24 hours consists of misunderstood fag ends dressed up as facts.

“Some of it is accurate, much more of it isn’t and what is not is far more significant than what is. Complex and detailed negotiations cannot be conducted in public.”

Financial meltdown

More Japanese employers may leave the UK in the coming months if Britain does not agree a post-Brexit deal, the nation’s ambassador, Koji Tsuruoka, in London has warned.

Tsuruoka said Japanese firms had been cutting back on UK investment amid the uncertainty, although a post-Brexit trade deal could be swiftly agreed between the UK and Japan.

Nissan and Honda recently said they would cut back production in the UK. Honda is shutting its Swindon plant.

Although both employers said neither decision was due to Brexit, the ambassador said many of Japan’s 1,000 or so UK-based companies were now considering how to adapt to a possible future outside the EU.

“These are all global companies and therefore they have other possibilities other than staying,” Tsuruoka told broadcaster Sky. “They may relocate. Or they may combine or consolidate. But you can’t make those decisions until you know what’s going to happen next. This is very important.

“Most of these companies would like to expand their capacity. But they need to know about the UK-EU economic relationship. Many of those possible potential investments are being put on hold right now because they can’t really convince investors that these are the right investments today.

“That’s why the uncertainty of not having some kind of informed future perspective makes it very difficult for new investment.”

A people’s vote might end the ongoing Brexit crisis. Picture credit: Eurasia Times

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