The European Commission is to publish its first formal paper on how it believes Britain should deal with the Irish issues in the Brexit negotiations.
EU to put onus on UK to provide border solution - report
RTÉ News understands the paper will firmly indicate that the UK is chiefly responsible for finding solutions that protect the peace process and avoid a hard border, but which do not undermine the EU single market - rte.ie.
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.
The commission's task force has published at least nine technical position papers, and will produce another four tomorrow.
But the Irish paper is different.
It will not be called a negotiating paper, but instead will be a short, four-page document containing a series of guiding principles.
This is because both the task force, and the Irish Government, believe that the Irish question is so unique, complex and sensitive that the UK must bring forward a lot more clarity and detail about how exactly it intends to preserve the Good Friday Agreement, the peace process and the North-South dimensions from the potentially wrenching effects of Brexit.
Implicit in the paper, and repeated by officials in Brussels and Dublin, is the conviction that Britain's own paper on Ireland, which spoke of no or entirely limited controls on the Irish border, was simply unworkable and would undermine the legal order that governs the single market and the customs union.
The paper will make it clear that the responsibility for fixing what Dublin and Brussels regard as the mess caused by Brexit lies chiefly with the UK government.
They want more detail on how London intends to flesh out its own declaration that it wants to preserve the Good Friday Agreement and avoid a hard border.
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