Sunday 26 January 2020

Brexit: Coveney says Ireland will be 'realistic, fair and also stubborn' in border talks

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney
Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Ireland will be "realistic and fair" in relation to the Brexit negotiations around the border but also "stubborn", Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney has said.

Responding to the publication of the UK's policy paper on Northern Ireland, the minister said the Government won't be "picking fights for the sake of it".

He welcomed the papers but said much of the content needs to teased out and Ireland is  preparing for the "worst case scenario".

Mr Coveney said Ireland will not allow itself become a pawn in the negotiations between the EU and the UK.

He said the developing situation would be "a good test of Europe in terms of protecting the interests of small countries".

The minister said the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic must remain open but for that to happen it will require an agreement that "doesn't have any precedent".

"There are still significant questions that are unanswered," he said. 

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