David Davis has said the UK commitment to maintaining a soft border with the Republic of Ireland is “more than legally enforceable" after the Irish Government reacted with confusion to a remark made over the weekend.
The issue of the border to Northern Ireland – the UK’s only land border with an EU country – was the only remaining sticking point in phase one of the Brexit negotiations, ahead of a major summit this week.
Last Friday, a joint statement by Theresa May and EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said a solution had been found, with the latter recommending the EU's member-states vote to progress talks onto trade.
Davis, the Brexit Secretary, said the UK would maintain a “frictionless” border with the Republic of Ireland even if a “no deal” Brexit should occur.
Currently, the plans for the border is for the UK to align with EU rules to protect the Good Friday Agreement, if no solution can be found in upcoming trade talks.
On Sunday, the Brexit Secretary said this was a “statement of intent” – a remark which was called “bizarre” by the Irish government in Dublin, which called the arrangement “binding.”
Davis said in an interview his words had been “twisted.”