Belfast Telegraph

UK and EU 'will have to compromise over Brexit'

By Noel McAdam

The United Kingdom and European Union will have to show "major give and take" to make a smooth Brexit a reality, Dublin has warned.

Irish Minister of State John Paul Phelan said Ireland will not be able to deliver a future special relationship between the UK and the European Union.

Addressing the opening session of the latest British Irish Parliamentary Association in Kilkenny yesterday, he also said he hoped the gains of the Good Friday Agreement could be protected.

"I hope that the negotiations will succeed in devising arrangements for Northern Ireland that reflect its unique circumstances, including facilitating its continued participation in particular EU programmes," he added.

Minister Phelan argued protecting the gains of the peace process is clearly in the interests of the EU and the UK.

Relevant programmes to Northern Ireland's unique situation include the Interreg and Peace, as well as Erasmus and EU research programme which are, he said, of importance to young people in the province.

"Although Ireland will do everything we can to facilitate continued good relations between the UK and the EU, an agreeable outcome to negotiations is not within our gift," he said. "Achieving the outcome we desire will require a major exercise of give and take on both sides. There will need to be a willingness on the UK's part to explore compromise solutions that will not necessarily appeal to everyone."

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