October 9, 2018 / 10:34 AM / 13 days ago

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

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.

FILE PHOTO: European Union's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier arrives for the European People's Party (EPP) meeting ahead of the informal meeting of EU leaders, in Salzburg, Austria, September 19, 2018. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

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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