Brussels presses United Kingdom for progress on post-Brexit Irish border

Brexit news BBC Newsnight Theresa May Northern Ireland

Asked about the issue on Monday, a French presidential adviser said there was no decision from the European Union to exclude Britain from Galileo, and that the current "uncertainty" was simply the direct result of Britain's decision to leave.

Lack of progress on how to keep the Irish border open after Brexit, whether the European Court of Justice will still have a role in British affairs and "all remaining separation issues" could sour talks on the future relationship between the two sides, Zaharieva signaled.

"No significant progress" has been made in negotiations with London since March, the EU's Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, told 27 ministers from the bloc on Monday, according to the chairwoman of the talks.

His reprimand came after foreign secretary Mr Johnson claimed the prime minister's proposal for a customs partnership with Brussels after Brexit was "crazy".

EU Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) missions have contributed significantly to United Kingdom foreign policy, she added, citing Operation Atalanta, the EU's flagship anti-piracy operation which Britain leads, as a good example. A political stand-off has ensued over the vexed issue.

There were two rounds of negotiations before the "key rendezvous" of the June European Council summit, he said.

Barnier later said that there had been "a little, not very little progress" but warned that more was urgently needed.

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The Irish government is hopeful a comprehensive resolution could lie in the concept of shared customs territory. Negotiations on the future with the United Kingdom have not started yet.

However, the United Kingdom cabinet is at odds on the issue.

Max fac - or the Maximum Facilitation proposal - will use technology to ensure that goods can be traded freely across borders.

British transport secretary Chris Grayling last night sought to downplay fears of a hard border before failing to guarantee trade barriers will not exist.

Mr Johnson urged Ms Thornberry to "elucidate" to the nation Labour's customs union policy, adding: "I seem to remember them campaigning at the last general election on a platform to come out of the customs union".

Mr Grayling's stated confidence appeared to do little to ease opposition concerns as MPs debated the Haulage Permits and Trailer Registration Bill.

The Bill is viewed as the first major piece of Brexit contingency legislation and contains powers to allow the British Government to create a travel permit scheme to enable commercial cross-border transport to continue if no agreement was reached with the EU.

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