TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -A Brexit deal is “eminently possible” within weeks but there can be no regulatory barriers within the United Kingdom, the head of the Northern Irish party that props up British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Tuesday.
Less than six months before the UK’s exit from the European Union, there is little clarity about how the world’s fifth largest economy and its preeminent international financial center will trade with the EU after Brexit.
Talks are snagged on how to avoid checks on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland if the sides fail to clinch a post-Brexit free trade deal.
May and Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which supports her minority government, have opposed EU proposals for a backstop that would keep Northern Ireland - but not mainland Britain - de facto inside the EU economic space.
Ahead of a meeting with EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier in Brussels, DUP leader Arlene Foster stuck to her rejection of any new regulatory or customs barriers inside the United Kingdom - but said that, with political will, a deal was possible.
“I want to see a deal that works for everyone and I think that is eminently possible if the political will is there to make it happen,” Foster told BBC Radio Ulster. “I very much hope that there is a deal in a number of weeks.”
The EU’s Brexit negotiators believe a divorce deal with Britain is “very close”, diplomatic sources told Reuters last week, indicating a compromise on the future Irish border was in play.