Michel Barnier pledges support to Ireland through Brexit

If the United Kingdom is willing to add a Customs Union membership to the already negotiated trade agreement then the EU will be ready to renegotiate the political declaration, EU's Chief Brexit Negotiator Michel Barnier said on Tuesday.

Speaking in Dublin, Michel Barnier said he hoped the cross-party talks taking place in London would produce a "positive outcome" with the prospect of a no deal Brexit now just days away. "The backstop is now the only solution we have to found to maintain the status quo on the island of Ireland", he said.

Mr Barnier said that if talks between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn were successful, the EU would be ready to change the terms of the UK-EU future relationship to allow for closer links with Brussels.

However, all sides will be hoping that the talks in London between the Conservatives and Labour party will yield a compromise deal which European Union leaders can rubber-stamp on Wednesday.

The Conservatives and Labour are locked in discussions around finding deal both parties could back, with the opposition pushing for the United Kingdom to enter a customs union with the EU once it had left the bloc.

From cheese to helicopters: USA floats tariffs on $11bn of European Union products
In March this year, Trump threatened more tariffs on the bloc's goods, including that on cars imported from the EU. The EU has left most of its subsidies unchanged and launched additional aid since the challenge, USTR said.

"We can be much more ambitious in our future relationship with the United Kingdom".

It's understood the Taoiseach will want to emphasise the extent of Ireland's preparedness for a no-deal Brexit in his meeting with Mr Barnier.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar added that if the United Kingdom crashes out this Friday, the consequences would be a "shared challenge" for Ireland and the EU.

Speaking about the EU Council meeting on Wednesday, where it will be decided whether the United Kingdom should get a Brexit extension, Mr Varadkar said leaders would have "different views but I'm confident of reaching an agreement".

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