September 18, 2018 / 4:22 PM / a year ago

Ireland urges Britain to speed up Brexit talks

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney answers journalists' questions during a Reuters interview in Berlin, Germany, August 28, 2018. REUTERS/Christian Mang

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The British government must intensify its engagement with EU negotiators to find legally watertight solutions for the Irish border so that EU leaders can move toward a Brexit deal next month, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on Tuesday.

“There’s a real appetite within the EU task force to have that intensification happen sooner rather than later,” Coveney told reporters after meeting EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier in Brussels.

“We want to be in a position where EU leaders can be making real decisions in October,” he added.

He said time was tight to have a treaty ratified in time for Britain’s withdrawal in March and that a Brussels summit on Oct. 18 must be in a position to advance towards a deal.

Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis and Alastair Macdonald ; @macdonaldrtr; editing by Francesco Guarascio

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