Ireland says no Brexit breakthrough as EU needs credible proposals

FILE PHOTO: Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney attends a conference in Paris, France, August 28, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland said on Thursday that the United Kingdom had failed to supply credible Brexit proposals, adding that there had been no breakthrough at talks last night with the Northern Irish party which props up Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government.

Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney said there was growing frustration in the European Union that London had not yet tabled proposals on an alternative to the Irish border backstop.

“We need to get credible proposals that we simply haven’t seen yet,” he said, adding there had been no breakthrough at talks overnight and that there remained a significant gap between what the UK wanted and what the EU would accept.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar met Arlene Foster, the leader of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party in Dublin for talks on Wednesday.

“Meeting last was positive and friendly but it is important that its not interpreted as some sort of breakthrough, because I don’t think it is,” Coveney said.

Foster said a deal could be secured for an orderly British exit from the European Union if flexibility is shown by all sides.

Reporting by Graham Fahy, editing by Andrew MacAskill and Guy Faulconbridge