Bratislava, November 6 (TASR) – The agreement on the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union is still not completely prepared, lacking, among other things, a solution to the border issue between Ireland and Northern Ireland, concurred Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (Smer-SD) and chief EU negotiator for Brexit Michel Barnier at the Government Office in Bratislava on Tuesday.
“The situation relating to Ireland and Northern Ireland remains a sensitive issue, because the EU 27 are interested in maintaining the single market and all the freedoms that apply to it,” Peter Pellegrini told a joint press conference.
Both London and Brussels want to avoid the introduction of checks at the future external border of the European Union between its member state and Northern Ireland, fearing renewed tension in this UK province, however, they haven’t agreed so far on how to do it.
Barnier said at the press conference that bargaining on Brexit is “very negative” and the deal won’t bring any benefits to either side. He stressed the need for certainty regarding the back-up solution or backstop. This is, according to his words, necessary to ensure the integrity of the internal market as well as security in Ireland.
“It is in our interest to defend the interests of the citizens of Europe – our citizens, our businesses and the integrity of the internal market and the related four freedoms that are our greatest wealth,” added Barnier.