April 30, 2018 / 11:58 AM / a year ago

EU's Barnier says confident of deal to avoid hard Irish border

DUNDALK, Ireland, April 30 (Reuters) - The European Union’s Brexit negotiator said on Monday that he is confident Brussels and London can agree on the right solution for avoiding the return of a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

“I am confident that together with unity of the EU27 and a constructive attitude on both sides, we will be able to agree the right solution for avoiding a hard border and maintaining north-south co-operation with all its diversity,” Michel Barnier said in a speech at the Irish border town of Dundalk.

“Agreement on the orderly withdrawal, including a backstop (agreement on the border) for Ireland, will pave the way for constructive negotiations for a broad partnership for the future.” (Reporting by Padraic Halpin Editing by Alison Williams)

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