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Calling for "democratic consent" (no, really):

Theresa May plots assault on EU's Ireland Brexit demands - Politico EU

On this, the U.K. is prepared to negotiate -- but only if there are new democratic safeguards for Belfast, according to two senior U.K. officials.

"There will have to be some democratic consent (a key element of the Good Friday Agreement)," said one senior U.K. official.

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A senior EU diplomat said the EU is "lukewarm" about the U.K.'s Northern Irish "consent" proposal, which is yet to be formally presented. The concern in Brussels and other EU capitals is that allowing Belfast's "consent" for future rule changes would be a hostage to fortune which could make the crisis caused by Belgian region Wallonia refusing to ratify the EU-wide trade deal with Canada look tame by comparison. The EU will not allow a situation where a third country can hold up its own regulatory changes.

Are Northern Ireland's leaders really "reliable partners?" asked one EU27 diplomat.

Northern Ireland, after all, has now been without a ruling executive for longer than Belgium was without a government in 2010-2011 -- and there is no sign of this changing before Britain leaves the EU in March. "London is going to have to make this decision," the diplomat said.

by Bernard on Wed Sep 19th, 2018 at 04:15:15 PM EST

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