Responsibility For Protection Of Irish Border Lies With UK Says European Commission

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The high-ranking European official worries about the final EU-UK customs relations after Brexit.

Ireland's place in the EU's single market or customs union is also mentioned in the document.

Both the European Union and United Kingdom had earlier agreed they would make concerted efforts to avoid a resolve that will degenerate into a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland as such was the state of the border before the crisis that rocked both countries was resolved through a peace process in the 1990s.

Once there is sufficient progress on the principles set out in today's paper, discussions may move to the second phase of negotiations, which aim to find flexible and imaginative solutions to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland.

"The creativity and flexibility can not be at the expense of the customs union and the single market", he said, referring to earlier comments from UK's top negotiator, David Davis, on the need for more EU flexibility.

They want more detail on how London intends to flesh out its own declaration that it wants to preserve the Good Friday Agreement and avoid a hard border.

"If that were to happen it would have grave consequences for the stability of the government at Westminster and for the prospect of restoring devolution in Northern Ireland".

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Those are the words of Paul C Dwyer, president of the International Cyber Threat Task Force (ICTTF), who said to the The Irish Times that it is now crucial that both governments sit down, discuss and establish an Anglo-Irish taskforce on cybersecurity and data protection.

Sinn Féin's David Cullinane said it is "strong support for protecting the peace process and Good Friday Agreement in all of its parts".

"You can't have 27 paying for what was decided by 28", he said, adding that the expenditures had been agreed upon by all heads of state in 2013. There were three negotiating groups covering citizens' rights, financial settlement and other separation issues.

According to the EU's paper, procurement processes launched before Brexit in March 2019 should still to be governed by European Union public procurement law.

United Kingdom officials also dismiss the EU's concerns that Britain would use the special settlement on Northern Ireland as a "Trojan horse" for concessions on other border and customs questions.

In a paper on customs, the European Union insisted that "the basic approach to be followed should be that the rules applicable in.an operation when it commences should continue to apply. until its completion" after Brexit.

And, because the problem is of the UK's making, it is the UK's responsibility to come up with that unique solution.

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