THERESA MAY has yet again conceded to the EU and there will be NO change of rules covering the EU single market and customs union on the island of Ireland post-Brexit, according to a draft negotiating text seen by Irish state broadcaster RTÉ News.
The concessions were later confirmed when the EU told its MEPs about the developments.
May’s concessions meant Nothern Ireland would effectively STAY in the EU single market and customs union.
The DUP warned Mrs May that the party would withdraw support from the Tories if they make any more concessions – the DUP’s 10 MPs hold up Theresa May’s weak government.
The DUP has refused to acknowledge this position, with chief whip Jeffrey Donaldson saying the position was “not our understanding of the UK government’s position”.
The concession, if accepted by the Irish Government, would have far-reaching implications for how closely Northern Ireland remains bound to EU structures and would go against the wishes of the DUP.
A special meeting of the Irish Cabinet reviewed discussions with the British government.
Irish leader, Leo Varadkar announced he would make a statement Monday afternoon on Phase 1 of the Brexit negotiations.
The text on Ireland is part of an overall paper entitled The Joint Report from the Commission and the United Kingdom Negotiators on Progress.
The paper covers all three issues of contention: the financial settlement, EU citizens rights, and the Irish border.
The text, which was worked on intensively over the weekend and into the early hours of the morning, contained the following paragraph on Ireland:
“In the absence of agreed solutions, the UK will ensure that there continues to be no divergence from those rules of the internal market and the customs union which, now or in the future, support North-South cooperation and the protection of the Good Friday Agreement.”
It was one of around 100 paragraphs in all on the three issues, in a text which runs from four to five pages.
It is understood the text on Ireland was updated to refer to “continued regulatory alignment” on the island of Ireland.
The draft text on Ireland has since been updated to include the phrase “continued regulatory alignment” rather than ‘no regulatory divergence’, according to well-placed sources.
May’s spokesman said: “The PM has been clear that the UK is leaving the European Union as a whole and the territorial and economic integrity of the United Kingdom will be protected.
“RTE also reported this morning we were holding a Cabinet meeting and I missed that if it occurred.”
RTE however, was referring to an Irish cabinet meeting, not the British cabinet.