Tánaiste Simon Coveney's Statement on publication of UK proposals7/6/18
“I look forward to discussing the UK’s written proposals, aimed at making progress in the Brexit negotiations, with the Commission Task Force.
The Task Force will be assessing whether these proposals have the potential to help deliver the UK’s repeated commitment to avoiding a hard border.
Our strong preference remains an overall EU-UK future relationship which would resolve all issues. However it remains vital that a legally-binding backstop is agreed to provide certainty that, in all circumstances, a hard border will be avoided.
The EU has been clear that the backstop is an essential element of the EU-UK withdrawal agreement and that negotiations can only progress as long as all commitments undertaken so far are respected in full.
Ireland and the Commission have both stressed that substantial progress on the backstop is needed before the June European Council. Based on the negotiations between the UK and the Commission Taskforce in the coming days and weeks, Michel Barnier will make an assessment of progress, for consideration by the Taoiseach and his counterparts at the European Council three weeks from now.
Clearly, a great deal of work remains to be done and this needs to be the highest priority for all sides in the weeks ahead.”
07 June 2018