Brexit: Ireland considers changes as May attempts to salvage border deal

Conor Coyle WebFG News | 07 Dec, 2017 10:21 - Updated: 11:07 | | |

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Irish taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he is willing to consider changes to the post-Brexit border deal which was vetoed by the Northern Ireland's DUP on Monday.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has come under increasing pressure from several directions after an apparent agreement earlier this week on the thorny issue of Northern Ireland's border was rebuffed by the DUP over the proposed "regulatory alignment" with the south, but Varadkar has hinted the Irish government may allow minor changes to force the deal through.

Varadkar told reporters however that any changes must not alter the core of the document which was drafted on Monday, which aligned NI with its southern neighbours for market and customs purposes in order to avoid a hard border.

He said that he would consider a new proposition from the Conservatives, who are scrambling to craft a paper which pleases both Ireland and governmental partners the DUP.

“I expressed my willingness to consider that because I want to move things forward as well,” Varadkar said late on Wednesday.

“I expressed my willingness to consider that because I want to move things forward as well" Leo Varadkar

The DUP, who are propping up May's Conservative party with a 'confidence and supply' agreement, are adamant that any agreement which provides differing status for NI in comparison to the rest of the UK is unacceptable, threatening to withdraw its support for May and her government if such a deal is pressed through.

May has spoken with DUP leader Arlene Foster in attempt to break the impasse but reports suggest no movement has been made, as the EU deadline for ‘sufficient progress’ in negotiations nears.

Sterling has moved to the tune of the discussions this week after a significant rise on Monday being scuppered by the breakdown, as the currency now trades 1.3% lower than its high at the beginning of the week.

Investors remain unconvinced that May can salvage a respectable deal for the UK and maintain her authority in government, according to FXTM chief market strategist Hussein Sayed.

Sayed said: “Despite some optimism that Prime Minister Theresa May will succeed in striking a deal withDUP on the Northern Ireland border, investors still don’t seem convinced. That’s why I believe the risks are more to the upside than the downside.”

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