The draft conclusions of next week’s EU summit make clear that the bar on “sufficient progress” in the Irish strand of the Brexit talks has not been crossed. The draft says that, despite progress in other areas, the Border issue will have to be seriously broached.
On the issue of the UK’s Brexit bill, the draft “notes that, while the UK has stated that it will honour its financial obligations taken during its membership, this has not yet been translated into a firm and concrete commitment from the UK to settle all of these obligations”.
In their present form, the emphasis of the conclusions is understood to reflect the concerns of the Irish Government and the European Commission’s Brexit negotiating team.
At a meeting in Cork yesterday, the Cabinet held a discussion on Brexit for more than three hours.
Sources said there was an acknowledgement that the significant decision about whether to move to the next stage of the Brexit negotiations will have to be made by Christmas. Numerous Ministers confirmed the Government’s determination to remain a central part of the EU27 in negotiations. There were also repeated mentions of the instable political situation in Britain, as well as impatience in other European capitals with London.
Irish Times 14/10/2017
Peace process must be protected with no return of hard border – Taoiseach
Irish Independent 14/10/2017