October 16, 2018 / 2:54 PM / 10 months ago

Merkel says Brexit talks are like "squaring the circle" - sources

German Chancellor Angela Merkel leaves an event of the Federation of German Wholesalers and Retailers (BGA) in Berlin, Germany, October 15, 2018. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that efforts to negotiate a deal on Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union were like “squaring the circle”, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

She made the comment in a meeting of the parliamentary group of her Christian Democrat party on Tuesday, they said.

She said it was clear that controls on the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland could not disappear completely, but that the EU and the German government aimed to avoid a “hard” Irish border, according to the sources.

Reporting by Andreas Rinke; Writing by Maria Sheahan: Editing by Michelle Martin

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