Ireland's border is 'Europe's problem'
Published 13/07/2016 | 02:30
The European Union must avoid "negative consequences" involving the Border with the North in the post-Brexit era, the Italian Foreign Minister has said.
Paola Gentiloni said he believed there could be no question of changing the British-Irish common travel area in the wake of UK voters' decision on June 23 to leave the EU.
The Italian minister added that the border with the North was a "European problem". But he stressed that all of the EU had a duty to avoid "negative consequences" in any new frontier arrangements between the UK and EU.
Mr Gentiloni was speaking during a visit to Dublin to meet his Irish counterpart, Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan, who thanked the Italian government for its ongoing support.
The Italian Foreign Minister said the UK remained an important friend of Italy, with common membership of Nato, and the G7 and G20 nations.
Mr Gentiloni said Italy wanted an orderly transition to a new EU-UK relationship. "We can't leave room for a domino effect or a European Union á la carte," the minister said.
He said the British-Irish common travel area pre-dated the EU but the border was an important EU issue post-Brexit. "I think that it is a concern for all of Europe to avoid negative consequences in this particular aspect," the Italian minister added.