October 9, 2018 / 4:26 PM / 6 months ago

Brexit talks will likely run into November - Irish foreign minister

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney addresses the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., September 28, 2018. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Brexit negotiations will probably need to run into November to finalise a withdrawal treaty, including a so-called “backstop” agreement to avoid a hard land border on the island of Ireland, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on Tuesday.

“There is an expectation that the UK side will introduce some legal text which I hope can be helpful. Whether or not that can be the basis for a significant step forward between now and the (EU) Council meeting next week, we simply don’t know yet,” Coveney told a news conference.

“What we do know is that the talks process has intensified this week on trying to find a way forward on the backstop but I suspect November will probably be needed as well as October to get agreement on that but we’ll know an awful lot more next Monday and Tuesday.”

Reporting by Padraic Halpin and Conor Humphries; Editing by Gareth Jones

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