Northern Ireland news

Brexit negotiators to discuss Northern Ireland next week

A border road near Newry. Picture by David Young, Press Association

BREXIT negotiators are to hold another round of talks about Northern Ireland next week.

European Union and British officials are expected to meet in Brussels on Tuesday. Their discussions are expected to centre around the continued problem of how the border will be managed after the UK leaves the EU next year.

In December, the British government insisted it does not want a 'hard' border after Brexit.

However, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier warned earlier this month that border checks will be "unavoidable" following prime minister Theresa May's decision to leave the customs union and single market.

The north needs to continue to align with EU rules to support the economy and the Good Friday Agreement.

Mr Barnier told the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee at Westminster several weeks ago there were "a large number of rules where this coherence or alignment" would be needed.

Following a meeting between the taoiseach and Mrs May in Belfast earlier this week, Leo Varadkar said the Irish and British governments would work together to avoid border checks.

Mr Varadkar admitted this is the "tricky bit" in Brexit talks.

"The two governments are very much of the view that the agreement that was made back in December stands," he said.

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