Juncker tells MEPs the Irish border is a "European issue"

Business Minister Heather Humphreys

SDLP Councillor, Gus Hastings, has said that Theresa May's plan to withdraw from the European Union's (EU) digital single market will see the return of roaming charges and signal dropout along the Irish border.

"I could not agree more".

Barnier meanwhile said a whole range of options for third-country cooperation were on the table - the European Union has previously cited trade deals of the type it has with Canada and South Korea.

A former prime minister of ex-Soviet Latvia, Dombrovskis did not elaborate.

Mr Juncker also caused fury among British MEPs as he used a speech at the European Parliament to claim that the Irish border was a "European issue".

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The parliament's Brexit resolution also welcomes the publication of the EU's protocol on Ireland which sets out the controversial "backstop" option for avoiding a hard border.

"It's time to face up to the hard facts", he said.

"I would rather have preferred Britain not to have made a decision to leave the European Union, but anyone who leaves the European Union has to know, frankly, what this means", he said.

Jean-Claude Juncker was speaking during a debate on Brexit in the European Parliament this morning ahead of a vote on future UK EU relations tomorrow. Do you accept that, or do you then put in a guard to stop them doing that.

Britain is due to leave the European Union on March 29, 2019 but is looking to agree to a transition agreement for a period after Brexit in order to smooth out the impact.

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Britain is still yet to put forward an "official proposal" to the European Union and Mrs May's Mansion House speech, and its content, was already known by the bloc for two years, according to Mr Verhofstadt. "We have to guarantee the integrity of the single market because citizens and companies have to be able to count on the same kind of rules for citizens and companies and cherry picking is not going to be possible".

Rather than adopting an existing model such as membership of the European Economic Area or the European Free Trade Association (the so-called Norway model) or looking to replicate a Canada-style Free Trade Agreement, the United Kingdom will continue to press for a bespoke deal which is tailored for United Kingdom interests.

'We are monitoring the situation as the negotiations unfold and look forward to receiving additional clarity at the March council, ' said Honda's European government affairs manager Patrick Keating.

Many saw the speech as a clarification of London's position on the future EU-Britain relationship, but Juncker's Wednesday statements indicate that speeches will not take the place of signed agreements.

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