November 17, 2017 / 9:05 AM / a year ago

Britain's Johnson says work to be done to solve Irish border issue

DUBLIN (Reuters) - British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said on Friday the UK government was not minimising the issue of the Irish border in Brexit negotiations and would work with Dublin to solve it.

Boris Johnson, Britain's Foreign Secretary, arrives in Downing Street, London, November 14, 2017. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

Speaking in Dublin, he also said that Britain had no interest in any kind of so-called hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.

He added that he understood why Ireland wanted a four to five-year Brexit transition period for Britain, but said transition was possible within a much tighter timescale.

“I understand the sentiment behind it, which is that everybody wants to have the maximum possible reassurance,” he said.

“I think it’s possible to do that in a much shorter timescale... Now is the time to make haste (on moving onto stage two of Brexit talks) and perhaps we don’t need to wait quite so long to give business final certainty about how it’s all going to work.”

Reporting by Padraic Halpin, writing by James Davey; editing by Kate Holton

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