June 5, 2019 / 5:54 PM / 5 months ago

Trump understands need to avoid hard post-Brexit Irish border, PM says

U.S. President Donald Trump meets with Ireland's Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Leo Varadkar at Shannon Airport in Shannon, Ireland, June 5, 2019. Liam McBurney/Pool via REUTERS

DUBLIN (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump understood in a meeting with Irish officials on Wednesday that Brexit cannot result in the return of a hard border on the island, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Wednesday.

“He said in the meeting that he was aware that the sticking point in the negotiations, one of the most difficult points, is the issue of the Irish border - and he wants to keep that (the border) open and believes that can be done,” Varadkar told a news conference after the meeting at Ireland’s Shannon Airport.

“He understands that has to be a shared objective, that, if the UK is going to leave with a deal, that deal must involve legally operable guarantees that we won’t see the emergence of a hard border between north and south.”

Reporting by Graham Fahy and Padraic Halpin; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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