PM May to visit Northern Ireland to offer Brexit reassurances

Irish government cabinet meeting in Derrynane

After quitting the cabinet, former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson singled out her treatment of the border as the biggest mistake of her negotiations with the European Union for a smooth exit from the bloc next year.

Speaking at Belfast's Waterfront Hall on Friday, Mrs May will highlight how one of the amendments added by MPs to the government's customs bill this week now makes it illegal for Northern Ireland to be part of a customs territory separate from the rest of the UK.

Mrs May toured the Belleek Pottery factory in Co Fermanagh, meeting workers and business representatives from both sides of the border.

The first stop in May's visit was the border village of Belleek in Fermanagh, the home county of pro-British Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster, whose party provides 10 votes in Britain's lower house of parliament that May needs to govern.

Prime Minister Theresa May is due in Northern Ireland on a two-day visit.

She will insist Britain remains committed to negotiating "a new relationship with the European Union that works in our mutual interest - one that honours the referendum result, gives us control of our money, our borders and our laws".

What this deal does is it says to them, "right, now we can have a free trading area where there won't be the need for border checks and controls".

The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs said it had been the United Kingdom government's position that customs checks between Northern Ireland the rest of the United Kingdom are unacceptable, so it was not surprising that the amendment to the Customs Bill was accepted.

He pointed to the number of recent high-profile resignations within the British Cabinet including former Brexit secretary David Davis and former foreign secretary Boris Johnson.

Nuclear deal with North Korea 'may take some time': Pompeo
The job for the United States now, he said, is "to get the entire country to understand that they have that strategically wrong. After Pompeo's visit, North Korea accused his delegation of making "gangster-like" demands in connection with denuclearization.

Mrs May said she looked forward to hearing from cross-border businesses about Brexit.

Brexiteer Mrs Foster insisted the trip would help Mrs May better understand the challenges and opportunities of Brexit.

Brussels has proposed, in the event no other solution is found to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland, that Northern Ireland effectively remain in the EU's single market and customs union.

Ms O'Neill, along with Sinn Fein President Mary-Lou McDonald and Newry and Armagh MLA Conor Murphy, is set to meet Mrs May tomorrow.

"She is coming two years after the referendum, she is coming two years after negotiating with her own party", she said.

"I am quite clear what she will hear today; she'll hear about the catastrophic implications of Brexit, the fear and trepidation of the business community in terms of what comes next for them".

"We hope Theresa May gets the message when she's here that everything isn't rosy in the garden".

And she sent a message to Brussels that the European Union must change its negotiating position in response to the plans for a post-Brexit relationship which she drew up at Chequers.

May flew to Northern Ireland on Thursday for a two-day visit to see up close the troubled British region's frontier with EU-member Ireland, which has become one of the biggest stumbling blocks in the negotiations.

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