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Ireland won't sign any Brexit deal unless Good Friday Agreement is protected

20 June 2017

"We spoke about the very important need for both governments to be impartial actors when it comes to Northern Ireland and that we are co-guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement and that any agreement that may exist between the Conservatives and the DUP should not in any way impact on the Good Friday Agreement", he said. They also definitely are not the DUP.

The Queen's Speech would pass, albeit narrowly, even if the DUP merely abstained - rather than voted with the Tories - they argue.

May lost her parliamentary majority in a snap election she called on June 8, and she will need the support of the DUP to pass laws.

Mr Coveney said a number of "core issues" still stand in the way of an agreement but he said he did not consider them "insurmountable".

"The point is she is not a unifying figure any more". Not quite the "strong and stable" government May promised during her campaign.

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Sabine Weyand: Mr Barnier's deputy, a trilingual German-born trade specialist who studied English literature, political science and economics at university, and spent time as a student at Cambridge. "Our Government should seize the initiative and tell the European Union how Britain is going to leave, not ask it how it might be done".

To focus minds, the government has given parties a discussion paper setting out key areas for agreement. The public rejected the scrutiny shy, unilateral approach to Brexit negotiations.

But the turmoil of the euro zone crisis, fears in Britain about immigration and a series of miscalculations by former Prime Minister David Cameron prompted Britain to vote by 52 to 48 percent for Brexit in a June 23 referendum a year ago.

And, in fact, strangely, one of the paradoxes of Brexit that is that we export our elderly and we import the young and productive workers from other parts of Europe.

Leaving the EU - the biggest blow since World War Two to European efforts at forging unity - is now the official consensus of both the Conservatives and the opposition Labour Party.

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A deal, he will say, like no other in history.

In the report, YouGov director Antony Wells explains that "there is a majority who pick either a soft Brexit (19 per cent) or remaining in the European Union (35 per cent) as their ideal outcome".

As to nationalism, it is not for me to say someone cannot aspire to a united Ireland but I can challenge the methods they use to pursue it. A former principal private secretary to Labour prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, the career civil servant was later deputy national security adviser before being appointed permanent secretary of Mr Davis's Department for Exiting the European Union in July 2016.

Labour's Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer told the BBC's Andrew Marr show that Britain was in the worst possible position ahead of the talks. "It takes two to tango and we're ready to dance".

"We want to get back to an executive that has all the parties around the table to collectively take decisions".

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