September 13, 2019 / 1:47 PM / 3 days ago

EU very concerned at idea of Northern Irish border veto, Ireland says

Ireland's Minister of Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney attends the MEDEF union summer forum renamed La Rencontre des Entrepreneurs de France, LaREF, at the Paris Longchamp Racecourse in Paris, France, August 28, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

GARRYVOE, Ireland (Reuters) - European Union negotiators are very concerned by the idea of handing Northern Ireland’s devolved government the right to approve future regulatory changes as a part of finding a Brexit compromise, Ireland’s foreign minister said on Friday.

“There is certainly a concern at EU level over the idea that a devolved institution in Northern Ireland could have a veto over how the single market operates or a border on the single market operates. So it’s not as straightforward as some people are suggesting,” Simon Coveney told a news conference.

“As (EU chief Brexit negotiator) Michel Barnier has said, we will explore all ideas that are brought forward by the British government but they will be rigorously tested. There essentially aren’t detailed proposals in writing, which has been a source of real frustration.”

Reporting by Conor Humphries, writing by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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