POST TIME: 23 January, 2019 09:35:37 PM
Delaying Brexit won’t solve anything: May
EU insists on avoiding Ireland hard border
BBC, London

Delaying Brexit won’t solve anything: May

Theresa May has told MPs attempting to delay Brexit that it would not “solve the situation”.

“The decision remains the same - the deal, no-deal or no Brexit,” she said at Prime Minister’s Questions.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn accused her of having a “closed mind” to other Brexit options, such as Labour’s plan for a customs union with the EU.

But the PM attacked him for refusing to meet her and said he did not “have a clue” what his own policy meant.

MPs are proposing alternative plans to the PM’s deal with the EU, including seeking an extension to the UK’s exit date - which is currently scheduled to happen at 23:00 GMT on 29 March.

Meanwhile, Europe does not want to impose a hard border on Ireland, a spokesman insisted yesterday, one day after he warned this would be inevitable after any “no deal” Brexit.

On Tuesday, EU Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas had triggered concern in Dublin when he said the Irish border with Northern Ireland would have to be enforced.

If Britain leaves the European Union on March 29 without a withdrawal deal, the north-south border will become an external EU frontier, subject to customs controls.

The Irish government, however, insists it will not install “physical infrastructure” on a border that has been invisible since the Good Friday peace agreement.

EU officials say they stand in solidarity with Ireland, and that Britain must accept a divorce with a “backstop” to keep Northern Ireland in the same customs zone.

But Schinas’ comment on Tuesday, confirming that if the British parliament rejects the backstop then the border will return, was seen as putting pressure on Dublin.