Ireland warns Brexit talks could collapse over border issue
The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier faces the media as he arrives to meet business stakeholders and various cross-border groups at the Guildhall in Derry, Tuesday May 1, 2018. Barnier is visiting the border region between North and southern Ireland as a fact finding mission because he said, the Irish border issue is one of the priorities for Britain's Brexit from the European Union. (Niall Carson/PA via AP)
The Associated Press
Published Thursday, May 17, 2018 6:31AM EDT
SOFIA, Bulgaria -- Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar is warning Britain to explain how it plans to keep open his country's border with Northern Ireland or face the possible collapse of a Brexit deal.
Varadkar said Thursday: "We need to know that it's workable and legally operable, and we've yet to see anything that remotely approaches that."
Britain leaves the EU, and its single market and customs arrangement, in March. But the move could create obstacles to business between Britain's Northern Ireland and EU-member Ireland.
EU leaders will assess the Brexit talks' progress next month. They want a deal by October so parliaments can ratify it.
Varadkar said: "If we're not making real, substantial progress by June then we seriously need to question whether we're going to have a withdrawal agreement at all."