What position paper means for British negotiators

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Barnier and other EU officials have expressed doubt that enough progress has been made to enable leaders at an EU summit in six weeks to open discussions on future trade links with the U.K. Britain has urged the EU for more imagination and flexibility to enable talks to move on to trade.

Both the European Union and United Kingdom had earlier agreed they would make concerted efforts to avoid a resolve that will degenerate into a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland as such was the state of the border before the crisis that rocked both countries was resolved through a peace process in the 1990s. "It can not preconfigure the future relationship between the European Union and the UK".

Michel Barnier's team said they were not offering solutions on how cross-Border trade and travel will be protected.

UK FOREIGN SECRETARY Boris Johnson says that Britain and the European Union will "work together" to solve any issues that may arise of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic post-Brexit.

Barnier said Britain wants to "suspend the application of its laws, its customs union and single market at what would be a new external border for the EU".

In particular, local firms will approve that the Commission, like the UK Government, recognises that the unique social and economic characteristics of the island of Ireland require a unique solution.

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He added: "Creativity and flexibility can not be at the expense of the integrity of the single market and customs union". "The UK's aspirations need to be backed by substantive commitments and workable solutions", the Irish government's statement added.

Guy Lougher of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com said: "The Commission's paper doesn't materially progress things".

The prospect of a physical border in Ireland would have a significant impact on the economy on both sides of the boundary, Dr. James Anderson, Emeritus Professor of Political Geography in the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice, and a founder-member of the Centre for International Borders Research at Queen's University Belfast, told Radio Sputnik.

Ireland has welcomed Britain's commitment to upholding the Northern Ireland peace process and retaining freedom of movement across the border, but has warned it would not be "used as a pawn" in the larger talks.

"I've been very disappointed by the United Kingdom position as expressed last week, it seems to be backtracking on the initial commitments", the French politician said, reiterating London needs to respect financial commitments that go beyond the Brexit date.

The European Parliament can veto any agreement between the EU and the UK.