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New leak of Brexit papers reveals fissures between Britain and EU

10 September 2017

The paper, which the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier will present this afternoon, will not include any of the commission's own technical proposals.

Committee deputy convener, Lewis Macdonald, said the Brexit talks were " historic negotiations that will have a profound impact on Scotland" as he welcomed Mr Barnier's "willingness to engage with the committee".

Boris Johnson played down rising tensions with the European Union over Brexit today, saying he had "rock solid" confidence that a deal would be struck. In the first paper, London makes clear that it wants the Irish border to be invisible.

A group of at least 100 Conservative MPs has claimed there is no legal or moral basis for Britain to pay the European Union a "divorce bill" as part of Brexit and that instead, the EU should pay Britain €10 billion.

Trade between the United Kingdom and Ireland was worth €19.9 billion euros in 2015, according to the British Irish Chamber of Commerce's website.

"The UK wants to use Ireland as a kind of test case for the future EU-UK customs relations".

"The principles reflected in this paper must underpin any arrangements and solutions to be proposed, developed and agreed in future negotiations", the statement said.

"I am particularly concerned about whether any transitional arrangements can be agreed that allow us to maintain access to the single market in the short-term, and give us time to resolve hard issues for the long-term".

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Establishment of a physical border could revive security concerns, 20 years after a peace deal involving Dublin that ended a long civil conflict in Northern Ireland and led to the end of army and police checkpoints.

People and goods now move freely across the Irish border, but there are concerns that, as Britain's only land frontier with the European Union, this can not be sustained after Brexit in March 2019.

The EU wants commitments around peace funding.

The ERG's intervention comes amid an impasse between the United Kingdom and European Union over the Brexit bill, with the latest round of negotiations offering no sign of agreement.

"I think we can all work together to come up with a solution to that one", he said.

At the other end of the spectrum, he referred to the EU's free trade agreement with Canada which although "very ambitious", is far less complete than membership of the single market.

The EU insists that talks on future relations, including trade, can not begin until "sufficient progress" has been made on the divorce bill but the British side led by Brexit Secretary David Davis has been reluctant to agree to a figure.

New leak of Brexit papers reveals fissures between Britain and EU