Ireland welcomes EU paper on Irish border issue

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-08 04:10:05|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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DUBLIN, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- The Irish government on Thursday welcomed a position paper published by the European Union (EU) on the future of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland after Brexit.

"The paper clearly reflects the continuing close engagement between Ireland and the EU task force and builds on the European Council guidelines and subsequent negotiation mandate, in which Ireland's concerns and priorities were strongly acknowledged," a government statement said.

"Our priorities remain protecting the Good Friday Agreement and the peace process, including by avoiding a hard border, and maintaining the Common Travel Area," the statement said.

It urged Britain to make "substantive commitments and workable solutions" on the question of the Irish border.

"The principles reflected in this paper must underpin any arrangements and solutions to be proposed, developed and agreed in future negotiations," the government said.

On Thursday, the European Commission (EC), the EU's executive arm, published its first formal paper on the guiding principles for Ireland/Northern Ireland in the context of the Brexit negotiations.

In the four-page document, the EC warned a thorough understanding of the issues beyond customs rules was needed to move negotiations forward.

The paper called for the negotiations to secure a political commitment to protect the Good Friday Agreement and the gains of the peace process.