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UK Secretary Barclay believes Brexit deal feasible if North Ireland issue postponed

Christian Fernsby |
Stephen Barclay, the British secretary of state for Brexit, said on Friday he still believes a Brexit agreement will be reached, if leaving the Northern Ireland issue for a later date, Finnish national broadcaster Yle reported.

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Barclay made the remarks in Helsinki after meeting Tytti Tuppurainen, the Finnish Minister for European Affairs.

Barclay reminded in an interview with national broadcaster Yle that there is time until the end of next year, not just until the Brexit date.

Pasi Myohanen, a news analyst on Finnish national broadcaster Yle, commented on the tour of European Union (EU) member state capitals this week by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and secretary of state Barclay.

Myohanen said the EU wants to avoid the situation where "obstinate attitude and unwillingness to talk" within the EU would result in a hard Brexit. Thus, the EU insists that it is willing to talk but a would-be new treaty should be close to the present one.

Myohanen noted that Britain has said it would not start any border controls at the intra-Ireland border in any circumstances. "But as it is the outer border of the union, the EU would have to install border services," Myohanen said.

"If the security situation in Northern Ireland worsens then, it would be seen like the fault of the EU," Myohanen added.

Myohanen defined the current tour of negotiations as "a hard game on the peace process of Northern Ireland."

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