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British Ambassador warns that free trade across Irish border will prove 'challenging'

By Brian Hutton

There are "specific challenges" in allowing goods to move freely across the Irish border after Brexit, the British Ambassador to Ireland has admitted.

Robin Barnett suggested the current crossing between Northern Ireland and the Republic could only be maintained by a "bold and ambitious" free trade deal between London and Brussels. Addressing a parliamentary committee in Dublin, the senior diplomat also said arrangements for any border poll are already provided for by the Good Friday Agreement.

"This is an international agreement to which we remain 100% committed," he said.

Mr Barnett told the European Union Affairs committee there are "specific challenges" to keeping the 310-mile Irish border as seamless as possible.

But he added: "We firmly believe the basis for an effective way forward is a bold and ambitious free trade agreement between the UK and the EU."

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