October 8, 2019 / 11:15 AM / 5 months ago

Any threat to withdraw UK-Irish security cooperation is unacceptable - minister

Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith is seen outside Downing Street in London, Britain, October 8, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

LONDON (Reuters) - Julian Smith, the British minister for Northern Ireland, said any threat to withdraw security cooperation with Ireland was unacceptable and not in the interests of the province or the wider United Kingdom.

A Downing Street source was quoted in The Spectator magazine on Tuesday as saying that security and defence cooperation would inevitably be affected if the European Union tries to keep the United Kingdom in the EU against its will.

“I am clear that any threat on withdrawing security cooperation with Ireland is unacceptable,” Smith said on Twitter. “This is not in the interest of NI or the Union.”

Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by Costas Pitas

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