Ireland sees ‘a way to go’ before agreement on border in Brexit talks

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ireland’s foreign minister warned on Friday there was still “a way to go” in Brexit talks on the Irish border and welcomed an EU paper suggesting Britain needs to avoid “regulatory divergence” with the bloc if it wants to maintain a soft border.

The future EU/UK land border between Ireland and Northern Ireland is one of three issues — along with the exit bill and safeguarding expatriate rights — that Brussels wants broadly solved before it decides in December whether to give the green light to move on to talks on future trade relations.

“I think that there is a way to go between the two negotiating teams to be able to provide credible answers and sufficient progress in the context of the Irish border before we can move on to Phase Two,” Coveney told Irish state broadcaster RTE.

“While we welcome the language we get from the British government in the context of north-south challenges… there has always been a scepticism on how we are going to get there in the context of the British approach to Brexit as a whole.”

The Irish government has called on Britain to do more than simply promise a “hard” border will not return between it and Northern Ireland, which until a 1998 peace deal was separated by military

Article source: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-ireland/ireland-sees-a-way-to-go-before-agreement-on-border-in-brexit-talks-idUSKBN1DA107?il=0

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