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Luxembourg: 'Difficult issues to overcome' - UK, Irish FMs comment on Brexit impasse03:53

Luxembourg: 'Difficult issues to overcome' - UK, Irish FMs comment on Brexit impasse

Luxembourg, Luxembourg City
October 15, 2018 at 12:15 GMT +00:00 · Published

UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said in Luxembourg City on Monday, that there were "difficult issues still to overcome" before a deal on Brexit could be reached, a day after the United Kingdom and the European Union abandoned attempts to reach an agreement on the Northern Ireland backstop before Wednesday's EU summit.

"There are one or two very difficult outstanding issues but I think we can get there, whether we do this week or not, who knows," Hunt told reporters while arriving at a EU Foreign Ministers meeting.

"This Prime Minister, Theresa May, will never sign a deal that is not compatible with the letter and spirit of the referendum result. But we also firmly believe that we can find a deal on that basis that works for the European Union and our partners and friends in Europe," Hunt said before citing the EU agreement on sanctions regime for chemical attacks as an example of UK-EU partnership.

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney called on the UK to follow through on commitments made during Brexit negotiations. “I think we are frustrated but we are still pretty calm about that,” he said referring to the current impasse in negotiations.

Coveney said his country could not accept a "time limit" on a backstop agreement aiming to prevent a hard border in the island of Ireland. "The backstop will be there unless and until something else is agreed. Unless you have something to replace it, the backstop needs to be there as an insurance mechanism."

European Union Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini touched down on the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi by stating that "the European Union expects full investigations from the authorities of Saudi Arabia, full cooperation with the Turkish authorities," adding that "We expect and we hope that there will be transparency and full clarity on what happened."

Luxembourg: 'Difficult issues to overcome' - UK, Irish FMs comment on Brexit impasse03:53
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UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said in Luxembourg City on Monday, that there were "difficult issues still to overcome" before a deal on Brexit could be reached, a day after the United Kingdom and the European Union abandoned attempts to reach an agreement on the Northern Ireland backstop before Wednesday's EU summit.

"There are one or two very difficult outstanding issues but I think we can get there, whether we do this week or not, who knows," Hunt told reporters while arriving at a EU Foreign Ministers meeting.

"This Prime Minister, Theresa May, will never sign a deal that is not compatible with the letter and spirit of the referendum result. But we also firmly believe that we can find a deal on that basis that works for the European Union and our partners and friends in Europe," Hunt said before citing the EU agreement on sanctions regime for chemical attacks as an example of UK-EU partnership.

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney called on the UK to follow through on commitments made during Brexit negotiations. “I think we are frustrated but we are still pretty calm about that,” he said referring to the current impasse in negotiations.

Coveney said his country could not accept a "time limit" on a backstop agreement aiming to prevent a hard border in the island of Ireland. "The backstop will be there unless and until something else is agreed. Unless you have something to replace it, the backstop needs to be there as an insurance mechanism."

European Union Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini touched down on the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi by stating that "the European Union expects full investigations from the authorities of Saudi Arabia, full cooperation with the Turkish authorities," adding that "We expect and we hope that there will be transparency and full clarity on what happened."

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