Checks at Irish border 'unavoidable' after Brexit, warns Barnier

PUBLISHED: 12:20 09 February 2018 | UPDATED: 12:21 09 February 2018

EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier

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Checks at the Irish border will be "unavoidable" under Theresa May's Brexit plans for the UK to leave the single market and customs union, Michel Barnier has warned.

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Brussels' chief Brexit negotiator also told reporters that agreement on a transitional deal after the UK leaves the bloc in March 2019 was "not a given".

After the latest round of Brexit talks between officials in Brussels, he said three "substantial" disagreements remain with the UK over plans for a transition period.

He added: "If these disagreements persist the transition is not a given."

On the issue of the Irish border he told reporters: "Any solution must be precise, clear and unambiguous."

He added: "It is important to tell the truth. A UK decision to leave the single market and to leave the customs union would make border checks unavoidable."

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