Theresa May: EU must change 'unworkable' Brexit position

Pledge Theresa May and DUP leader Arlene Foster during a visit to the Belleek pottery factory in Fermanagh

Pledge Theresa May and DUP leader Arlene Foster during a visit to the Belleek pottery factory in Fermanagh

However, the prime minister will use the speech to tell Conservative MPs their job is to make a success of Brexit in practice and not just in theory.

The EU's proposal on the backstop would have kept Northern Ireland in the customs union and the single market for goods.

Avoiding customs checks at the border with Ireland is the most critical issue that's holding up Brexit negotiations between the European Union and U.K.as May has spent months trying to coax her divided cabinet, the House of Commons and peers into unifying behind proposals to keep the border open.

Mr Varadkar's warning of a "doomsday scenario" comes after he claimed Theresa May's Government has no majority for any type of Brexit after a series of knife-edge votes in the Commons earlier this week.

As part of this, the Irish government plans to hire 1,000 customs officers and veterinary inspectors at its ports and airports over the next year. Obviously there'll be a huge problem for Rotterdam.

It urged the remaining 27 member states to prepare for a chaotic Brexit, noting that customs arrangements, airline agreements and arrangements for financial transactions could end suddenly without any new plans being put in place.

He added: "You can not have your cake and eat it. You can't take back your waters and then expect to take back other people's sky".

In her first major Brexit speech since the wave of ministerial resignations which followed her Chequers deal, the Prime Minister described the White Paper proposals as "a significant development of our position ... a coherent package".

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British Prime Minister Theresa May has told the European Union that the United Kingdom will not accept its proposals to deal with one of the thorniest issues in Brexit talks - the issue of the Irish border.

"We've produced a proposal which would enable us to have a free trade area between the United Kingdom and the European Union and a customs arrangement that would mean people here would continue to be able to trade seamlessly across the border and there will be no hard border, that's what we want to see", Mrs May told the Press Association.

Instead, May said the European Union must engage with her "white paper" released earlier this month, which proposes negotiating the closest possible links for trade in goods to protect businesses and to fulfill a commitment to avoid having infrastructure on the border.

Brexiteer Mrs Foster insisted the trip would help Mrs May better understand the challenges and opportunities of Brexit.

"I fully recognise how their livelihoods, families and friends rely on the ability to move freely across the border to trade, live and work on a daily basis", she said.

"The British government's Brexit chaos has been marked by prevarication and stalling, ever changing positions and broken agreements", she said.

The conundrum: how to maintain free flow of movement across the almost 500-km border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Sinn Féin's Michelle O'Neill said Mrs May's visit to the Irish border was long overdue.

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