Former taoiseach John Bruton calls for six-year extension to Brexit negotiations
Former taoiseach John Bruton has called for a six-year extension to the Brexit negotiations.
Speaking in Brussels, Mr Bruton said the idea would give British voters more time to reflect on the reality of Brexit, and would mean the UK staying as a full member until the final deal on the divorce and a trade agreement was done.
Mr Bruton said: "Lengthening the period to six years would, additionally, allow the UK electorate to consider, in a more informed way, the full implications of the course they are following."
He added that with a longer negotiation period, "the UK would need no transition deal and would remain a member of the EU, until the final exit deal was done.
"There would be only one deal to negotiate and ratify, namely the final deal. Of course this would be difficult. There are really no good options here. It is a qu estion of deciding which option is the least bad one."
The former taoiseach told the Institute of Directors that a six-year extension would provoke the wrath of Leave campaigners, and would also be difficult for the EU.
Doing nothing, he said, ran the risk of the UK crashing out of the EU.
"It would be, politically, really difficult for any UK government to ask for an extension of the negotiation time," he said.
He added: "Leave supporters would suspect betrayal. There would also be very deep reluctance on the EU side to grant such a request. Some EU states would feel that extending the period was being far too easy on the UK, and that the UK needed a reality check.
"Others would argue prolonging the exit negotiations might destabilise other EU members, and distract the EU from other urgent work.
"These are valid objections, but they are arguably less damaging than the real likelihood that, if we continue as w e are going, the UK will crash out of the EU without any deal."
Calls for Brexit report to be published immediately
Fianna FÃ¡il's Spokesperson on Brexit has called for a report by the Revenue Commissioners on Brexit to be published immediately.
The report, seen by RTÃ News, spells out the enormous physical and economic impact Brexit will impose upon both Ireland's custom infrastructure, and on the tens of thousands of companies who trade with the UK.
Speaking on RTÃ's Morning Ireland, Stephen Donnelly said the report is practical and lays out the kinds of problems that Irish and English firms will encounter with Brexit, including the administrative and fiscal burden that Brexit will place on 91,000 firms in Ireland.
The report says that an open border between Northern Ireland and the Republic will be impossible from a customs perspective, and it would be naive to believe a unique arrangement can be found.
Mr Donnelly accused the Government of suppressing "the most important part of analysis by the State" on Brexit.
He said: "It turns out that the Government has been suppressing what I believe is the most important part of analysis by the State that we've seen. And I think it is being very cavalier with the futures of the men and women who work in those 91,000 companies.
"The Government needs to publish this report immediately."
Mr Donnelly also said that budget conversations are continuing.
He said that in light of the Revenue Commissionerâs report, "it had to be asked if the budget has taken account of the additional paperwork, its systems, customs facilities and extra staff that will be needed, as a result of Brexit".Source: Google News