Britain’s decision to leave the European Union has caused the problem of the Irish border and Britain will have to solve it, the head of the European Council said on Wednesday.
Donald Tusk said EU leaders agreed at last month’s Brussels summit on terms for a post-Brexit transition period and their negotiating guidelines for future ties with the U.K.
"We want to use the positive momentum in these negotiations to finally settle outstanding issues such as the solution to avoid a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland," Tusk told European Parliament deputies in Strasbourg.
He warned the European Union would walk away from its Brexit transitional and withdrawal deals with the U.K. unless an agreement on the Irish border is reached between Westminster and Brussels.
"The U.K.’s decision on Brexit has caused the problem [of the Irish border] and the U.K. will have to help solve it," Tusk told MEPs.
"Without a solution, there will be no withdrawal agreement and no transition."
Tusk added that EU leaders "will assess the negotiations in June. In parallel, we will start our first talks about the future EU-U.K. relationship."
Separately, the European Council head said leaders agreed with the U.K.’s assessment that it is "highly likely" Russia was responsible for the nerve agent attack in Salisbury, England last month on a former Russian spy, and decided to recall the EU ambassador to Moscow.
In the 2016 Brexit referendum, 56 percent people in Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU.
Dublin has already expressed its intention to block any withdrawal deal unless the U.K. satisfies its border requests.
Britain is set to leave the EU in March 2019, ending its 44-year-long membership in the bloc.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
© Copyright Andolu Ajansi