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EU's Juncker says backing of Irish Brexit position will not change

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GETTYMichel Barnier accused the UK of wanting to retain the'benefits of the EU after Brexit

They also call for "further clarity from the United Kingdom as regards its position on the future relationship".

The strength in opinion carried across political divides.

Lord Adonis, who supports the Best for Britain anti-Brexit campaign, said: "Every day that the Prime Minister spends arguing with her own Cabinet and manoeuvring to rewrite the British constitution is a wasted day when it comes to our negotiations with our European Union partners".

With just four months to go before the deadline for a Brexit deal, he warned: "The hardest parts are still to do and there is not much time left to find a concrete agreement".

Amid an ongoing stand-off over how to maintain a free-flowing border post-Brexit, Mr Juncker assured Taoiseach Leo Varadkar that the European Union would not waver on what he made clear was a pivotal issue.

Across Great Britain, 62 per cent of respondents said Brexit negotiations were proceeding too slowly, with 30 per cent blaming the delays on "politicians in Britain who want a soft Brexit or to stop Brexit altogether".

This week the European Union warned that more work was needed on how to deal with the 300-mile frontier post-Brexit.

After his talks with the prime minister, allies of Mr Davis immediately claimed victory by insisting "much more detail" would be provided on the time-limited nature of the government's backstop proposal.

Ahead of Mr Juncker's arrival in Dublin, the Taoiseach said: "This is an important opportunity to assess the state of play in the Brexit negotiations".

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I am strongly against any temptation to try to isolate Ireland and not to conclude a deal on Ireland.

"My job is to represent my country, Ireland, and to do that as part of the European Union and we remain at the heart of the European Union".

Juncker's a two-day visit to Dublin, accompanied by EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan, is meant to reinforce the message that the rest of the EU will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with Dublin on the border issue.

The withdrawal agreement must contain a fully operational backstop solution for Ireland and Northern Ireland.

It comes a week before a European Council summit at which EU leaders are set to "express concern" that "no substantial progress has yet been achieved" over the Irish border.

Later, Mr Juncker received an honorary degree from the National University of Ireland.

At the start of Mr Juncker's address, he joked that he wished he was drunk.

On Friday, he will meet Irish President Michael D Higgins and visit the home of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), Croke Park, and the GAA museum.

But there will be no withdrawal agreement without a fully operation backstop.

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