Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on October 3 that his country does not want a notional border in the Irish Sea that would divide Northern Ireland from the rest of the United Kingdom.
“We don’t want to see any border on the Irish Sea but the commitment to an Irish backstop of last December is very clear,” Coveney said, referring to the “insurance policy” backstop arrangement all sides agreed to in principle over how to retain an open border on the island of Ireland after Brexit.
As reported by the Reuters news agency, Brexit negotiators are seeking to resolve a standoff over how to prevent the return of border checks between Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland by looking at how regulatory checks on some goods between the two islands could be used as part of a solution to move talks forward.
Dublin is trying to convince pro-British politicians in Northern Ireland that this would not amount to a constitutional challenge to the British province’s status, prompting Coveney’s remarks at a news conference during a visit to Warsaw.
“We are not trying to create new barriers to trade between Northern Ireland and the (rest of the) United Kingdom,” he said. “We believe it is possible to find the balance and the compromise to get this done… Ireland is happy to show some flexibility.”