Ireland says wants 'agreed wording' on Brexit border before December 14 summit

Ireland's Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney arrives to attend the Eastern Partnership summit at the European Council Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, November 24, 2017. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

LONDON (Reuters) - Ireland wants re-assurance from Britain there will be no regulatory divergence between it and Northern Ireland after Brexit, Foreign Minister Simon Coveney told BBC radio on Friday.

He said Ireland wanted to achieve before a Dec. 14 EU summit “an agreed wording whereby we can agree the parameters within which we can find a solution that prevents the re-emergence of a border on the island of Ireland”.

Avoiding a so-called “hard border” on the island of Ireland is the last major hurdle before Brexit talks can move to negotiations on Britain’s future trade relationship with the EU and a possible two-year Brexit transition deal.

Coveney said Ireland cannot be asked “to leap into the dark” by the UK.

Reporting by James Davey; editing by Kate Holton