LONDON — Theresa May will today publish a list of commitments to Northern Ireland designed to assuage fears the U.K. government might negotiate away its status at a later stage of Brexit talks, according to a draft copy seen by POLITICO’s London Playbook.
The European Commission recommended to the European Council in the early hours of Friday morning that “sufficient progress” has been made in Brexit talks to allow negotiations to move on to Phase 2, which will cover trade and the U.K.’s future relationship with the EU. The leaders of the remaining 27 countries will meet next week to vote on the deal.
The U.K. prime minister’s public statement will make six promises to the people of Northern Ireland and be signed by the prime minister herself. They are:
1. A promise to “uphold and support Northern Ireland’s status as an integral part of the United Kingdom.”
2. A promise to “fully protect and maintain” Northern Ireland’s position within the single market of the United Kingdom.
3. A pledge there will be no new borders within the U.K., and no hard border across the island of Ireland.
4. The fourth spells out in black and white that “the whole of the United Kingdom, including Northern Ireland, will leave the EU customs union and the EU single market.”
5. A pledge to uphold the “commitments and safeguards” set out in the Belfast Agreement regarding North-South co-operation.
6. The sixth and final promise says no part of the U.K., including Northern Ireland, will remain subject to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.