Sci-tech

Brexit: a majority of Brits now favour staying in the EU

Brexit: a majority of Brits now favour staying in the EU

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney spoke last month of "carnage" if Britain crashed out without a deal, though he said that would mostly be felt by the United Kingdom, with Ireland likely to benefit from solidarity from European Union states. It is Belfast after "breccia" will continue to obey the Customs Union of the EU and numerous rules of the single market.

"We're confident we can get a good deal, good for all four corners of the United Kingdom".

The EU agreed to a compromise on the backstop agreement to keep the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland last week, signalling they would accept keeping the whole of the United Kingdom in a customs union until both sides sign up to a deal that would prevent the need for a hard border.

Ireland insists that there must be no border infrastructure, the DUP insists Northern Ireland must not be treated differently from mainland Britain, and Brexiteers say Britain must have the right to do its own trade deals after Brexit.

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The Taoiseach said if there was some clarity on Brexit in the next couple of weeks or months, there would be an opportunity to get the Executive up and running again.

The debate also featured Justice Secretary David Gauke, shadow trade secretary Barry Gardiner and the Green Party's Caroline Lucas on behalf of The People's Vote.

Following a phone call with British Prime Minister Theresa May, Mr Varadkar said that Ireland will consider a "review mechanism" to the backstop issue which is causing an impasse in Brexit negotiations.

However, while it was backed by 63% of people who voted Remain, it was backed by just 20% of Leave voters.

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Mr Gauke told a Channel 4 debate show: "If we leave on no-deal terms there's no good shying away, it will be very bad for us economically".

The Irish border has proved the biggest obstacle to a deal, with both sides vowing not to create a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland for fear of destabilising the peace accord that ended decades of deadly sectarian violence.

But they have not agreed on how to guarantee that - and Britain is due to leave the bloc on March 29.

Remain would win a new Brexit poll by 54 per cent to 46 per cent, according to analysis of one of the largest surveys carried out on the issue.

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European Union diplomats said it was still unclear whether May could get parliamentary support for the tweaked "two-tier" backstop as it would still restrict British freedom to set trade terms. And 105 local authority areas that voted Leave in 2016 would now vote to stay.