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Brexit offer 'must be acceptable to Ireland'

Brexit offer 'must be acceptable to Ireland'
From BBC - December 1, 2017

The UK's offer on Brexit must be acceptable to the Republic of Ireland before the negotiations can move on, the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, has said.

Mr Tusk was speaking after talks with the Irish prime minister in Dublin on Friday.

He said: "The UK's future lies - in some ways - in Dublin".

The European Union has said "sufficient progress" must be made on the Irish border before negotiations can move on.

"The Irish request is the EU's request," Mr Tusk said.

"I realise that for some British politicians this may be hard to understand.

"But such is the logic behind the fact that Ireland is the EU member while the UK is leaving.

"This is why the key to the UK's future lies - in some ways - in Dublin, at least as long as Brexit negotiations continue."

In a press conference with Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) Leo Varadkar, Mr Tusk said that the UK's decision to leave the EU had created "uncertainty for millions of people".

"The border between Ireland and Northern Ireland is no longer a symbol of division, it is a symbol of cooperation and we cannot allow Brexit to destroy this achievement of the Good Friday Agreement," he said.

Analysis

By BBC Political Correspondent Adam Fleming

There is a lively debate about whether the Irish government has a veto over the decision - to be taken at the summit of EU leaders on 14 and 15 December - about whether Brexit talks can move to the next phase.

Call it what you like, but now Donald Tusk has told us for sure that the rest of the EU will do what Ireland decides.

There was a put-down for British politicians who may find it "hard to understand" why this is important.

Solidarity

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