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Ireland Says Brexit Border Breakthrough 'Doable' by December Summit


A breakthrough on the future of the Irish border once Britain leaves the European Union is “doable” before a key EU summit in two weeks time but the negotiating teams are “not there yet”, Ireland’s foreign minister said on Friday, Reuters reports.

Avoiding a so-called “hard border” on the island of Ireland is the last major hurdle before Brexit talks can move to negotiations on Britain’s future trade relationship with the EU and a possible two-year Brexit transition deal.

European Council President Donald Tusk last week set an “absolute deadline” of Monday - when British Prime Minister Theresa May meets EU chief executive Jean-Claude Juncker and his chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier - for London to deliver “sufficient progress” in its divorce offer.

“Let’s hope we can make more progress in the next few days. I don’t think everything needs to be done by next Monday but certainly we need to be in a position by the time EU leaders meet (on Dec. 14), I hope, to have wording that everybody can live with,” Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney told reporters.

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