January 21, 2019 / 8:55 AM / a month ago

Ireland will not engage in bilateral Brexit negotiations - minister

Ireland's European Affairs Minister Helen McEntee speaks during an interview with Reuters at Government Buildings in Dublin, Ireland, December 6, 2017. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne/File Photo

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland will not engage in bilateral talks on Brexit and will only negotiate as part of the 27 remaining members of the European Union, Ireland’s European Affairs Minister Helen McEntee said on Monday.

The Sunday Times reported British Prime Minister Theresa May was seeking a treaty with Ireland to remove the contentious backstop arrangement, and a member of the Northern Ireland party backing her in parliament said on Monday that direct talks between his party and the Irish government would be helpful.

“What we can’t do and what we won’t do, because we have not throughout this entire process, is engage in any kind of bilateral negotiations with the DUP or any other political party in Northern Ireland or the UK. This is a negotiation between the EU and the UK,” McEntee told national broadcaster RTE.

Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Janet Lawrence

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