April 30, 2018 / 9:33 AM / 21 days ago

EU's Barnier says rapid progress on Irish border needed by June

DUNDALK, Ireland, April 30 (Reuters) - Britain and European Union negotiators must make rapid progress on the issue of the Irish border by a June EU leaders meeting that will be a “stepping stone” towards attempting to reach a final deal in October, the EU’s Brexit negotiator said.

“As far as progress and June are concerned, June is in my view a stepping stone for the October European Council, which will be the final council for reaching an agreement on the withdrawal,” Michel Barnier told a news conference in the Irish border town of Dundalk.

“On Ireland and Northern Ireland, let me be clear once again only Northern Ireland specific solutions will work. We need in fact... to agree rapidly by June on several new points. We need to agree rapidly by June on the scope of all island customs and regulations - the safety and controls that we need to respect the single market. I don’t want to go into details.”

Reporting by Padraic Halpin and Conor Humphries

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