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Irish border issue dominates first day of Brexit talks

Staff Writer |
The Minister for Foreign Affairs has said that Ireland will not approve of any deal on Brexit unless it guarantees the full protection of the Good Friday Agreement and the peace process.

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Simon Coveney said it is clear that Ireland is being prioritised in the negotiations, which began today.

Coveney said he intends to build on the resolution of such complex issues when he meets the European Union's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, in Luxembourg tomorrow.

Barnier has promised to deal with negotiations on the UK's withdrawal in a "constructive" way and said he believed a "fair" deal was possible for both sides and "far better" than the prospect of the UK leaving without an agreement.

Barnier was speaking at the end of the first day of negotiations in Brussels with Brexit Secretary David Davis, who said he was "optimistic" of reaching a good deal.

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