Brokenshire in Dublin meeting

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, James Brokenshire MP, right, and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney TD meeting on Tuesday at Iveagh House in Dublin.


By Evan Short

Secretary of State James Brokenshire traveled to Dublin today to meet with the Irish government over the British government’s white paper on its Brexit strategy.

Mr Brokenshire met with Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney with Brexit understood to have been top of the agenda.

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Last week’s proposals ruled out the imposition of border posts between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland but critics claimed it lacked credible details with the Labour party in London saying the government were trying to create a “fantasy frontier”.

Among the plans would be that small and medium sized businesses would not have to comply with any tariffs. That would exempt 80 per cent of businesses north of the border.

Fears amongst unionists that a sea border would be implemented appeared to have been ruled out in the proposals, with any solution being implemented on the island.

The Secretary of State said he viewed the white paper as a practical step forward.

"The paper demonstrates our desire to find a practical solution that recognises the unique economic, social and cultural context of the land border with Ireland, without creating any new obstacles to trade within the UK.

"It is clear that there are many areas where the UK, Ireland and the rest of the EU have shared objectives.

"We have a lot to build on but need to work together intensively over the coming months."

Also on the agenda was the resumption of talks between Sinn Féin and the DUP on the re-establishment of the Stormont Executive.