Karen Bradley to meet EU's Michel Barnier in Brussels

Secretary of state Karen Bradley
Brendan Hughes

SECRETARY of state Karen Bradley will today meet in Brussels with the EU's chief negotiator on Brexit Michel Barnier.

The Northern Ireland secretary will also update MEPs on efforts to restore devolved government in Northern Ireland following the executive's collapse last year.

Speaking ahead of her visit, Ms Bradley said she would reiterate the British government's commitment on Brexit to "securing a deal that delivers for all parts of the United Kingdom".

"This includes the government's commitment to avoiding a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, and maintaining the constitutional and economic integrity of the UK as a whole," she said.

"We are confident that we will secure a good deal for the whole of the UK, and we are working towards finalising this with the EU in autumn.

"As we do, we will ensure that our departure from the EU does not do anything to set back the historic progress we have made in Northern Ireland over the past 20 years, and that the Belfast Agreement is protected in all its parts."

Negotiations are continuing over the future of the north-south border when the UK leaves the European Union next March.

The British and Irish governments and the EU all insist they want to avoid a 'hard border' with physical checkpoints on the island of Ireland, but questions remain over how this can be achieved.

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