October 9, 2018 / 10:50 AM / a month ago

EU's Barnier "working hard" to explain border fix to Northern Irish

European Union's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier attends an EU's General Affairs Council in Brussels, Belgium, September 18, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier met Northern Irish politicians on Tuesday and said he was “working hard to explain and de-dramatise” the Irish border backstop, a key hurdle in Brexit negotiations.

Among the politicians meeting Barnier was Arlene Foster, head of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which props up British Prime Minister Theresa May’s government in London.

Foster is vehemently critical of any plans to agree to checks on goods going from the British mainland to Northern Ireland after Brexit, something that could help to satisfy the EU as it tries to reach a compromise with London in their unprecedented divorce talks.

Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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