EUROPEAN UNION (OBSERVATORY) – Regarding Brexit, including such important issues as the border management between Ireland and Northern Ireland, it is still necessary to perform about 25% of the work, European Union chief negotiator Michel Barnier said.
According to him, at the moment it was possible to achieve progress by 75%.
Even if the UK and the EU are working toward a withdrawal of Britain from the EU in March 2019, the risk of failure remains until unresolved issues are left in the past, he said.
“There are always difficulties and risks of failure,” Barnier said, rejecting the selective approach on this issue that some British politicians have been practicing.
The UK and the EU are committed to preserving the free flow of people and goods across the Irish border without returning to checkpoints, which would be a reminder of the three decades of violence that culminated in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement – a political settlement of the conflict in Northern Ireland.
However, the issue of customs points between Ireland and Northern Ireland after the final withdrawal of Britain from the EU has not yet been settled.