Tanaiste says technology will not solve Brexit border issue

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The Food Research Collaboration and CIEH said UK Government is neglecting the issue in negotiations and urged publication of plans for what "food Brexit" will look like for Northern Ireland.

In her Mansion House speech, that was initially welcomed in Brussels, she said the two goals could be achieved through a new "customs partnership" or technological solutions that eliminate the need for physical checks.

Last week, the Daily Telegraph reported that the UK's plans had been subject to a "systematic and forensic annihilation" in a meeting with European Union negotiators.

Irish EU Commissioner Phil Hogan is today expected to tell Seanad Éireann that ways have to be found to overcome "UK red lines" in these negotiations.

Dodds underscored his point by stating: "That is an absolute red line for us, and if the government were to suggest that Northern Ireland were to be treated differently, in a way that Northern Ireland didn't agree to... on the big issue of customs union, single market regulation, border down the Irish Sea, that would cross a very big red line for us".

Mr Hogan said: "We are still stuck fast in the UK's self-imposed contradiction between its reassurance of a soft border and its hardline demands, its red lines, which have led the European Union to offer a free-trade agreement".

Phil Hogan says recent comments from Brexiter Jacob Rees-Mogg about Ireland's beef trade were "unhelpful and irresponsible".

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"The EU must be satisfied the UK's invention will work or it is the back-stop".

His visit coincided with claims in Dublin that Taoiseach Leo Varadkar did not share his views on the June deadline. "No decision, no Withdrawal Treaty; no Withdrawal Treaty, no transition".

Today in Dublin, Commissioner Hogan will urge a step-change in the negotiations in which it was originally hoped the Irish Border issue would be resolved by an earlier European Union leaders' summit fixed for June.

Mrs May has pledged that Brexit means leaving both the single market and the customs union, and these are deemed among the red lines.

Britain says an EU-UK free-trade deal to be sealed by 2021 can do that.

But Labour MP Yvette Cooper said there was a "consensus" forming to keep the United Kingdom in a customs union as Conservative MPs voiced their support for the proposal today.

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