September 19, 2018 / 6:25 AM / 4 months ago

Weber tells paper Brexit deal must avoid hard border in N.Ireland

Manfred Weber, Chairman of the European People Party group (EPP) looks on, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, September 11, 2018. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

BERLIN (Reuters) - Any deal on Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union must ensure that a hard border in Northern Ireland is avoided, Manfred Weber, leader of the European People’s Party in the European Parliament told a German newspaper on Wednesday.

“This is no normal border, a few years ago we had violence and deaths in Northern Ireland. Any treaty put to the European Parliament must contain a ruling on how a hard border in Northern Ireland is avoided,” Weber told Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

He added that Britain must decide between a close partnership with links to the EU single market coupled with obligations, like the EU’s relationship with Norway, or loser ties involving a trade deal like the one with Canada.

Reporting by Caroline Copley and Madeline Chambers

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