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Political leaders in Cardiff for key talks over Brexit

Brexit will be top of the agenda. Credit: PA

A key meeting of the British and Irish Council over Brexit is set to take place in Wales.

Northern Ireland's First Minister Arlene Foster and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness will travel to Cardiff to take part in Friday’s talks with leaders from across the administrations.

The outcome of the historic referendum on the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union is expected to dominate the discussions.

First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones, who called the meeting, said it will provide an opportunity for national leaders to get together and look at the way forward.

He added: “The council plays a unique and important role in developing positive relationships between its members.

"During this tumultuous time, it is more important than ever to maintain the strength of this relationship and work together to map out a successful way forward."


Hollande warns Brexit negotiations ‘should not drag on’

Credit: PA

French President Francois Hollande has warned that Brexit negotiations “should not drag on” during his Irish trip.

He issued the warning after talks in Dublin with Taoiseach Enda Kenny and only hours before he meets new British Prime Minister Theresa May in Paris.

Should the negotiations be shorter? The most important thing is that they should not drag on. The sooner the negotiations are open the better, and the shorter the better.

– French President Francois Hollande

His comments came after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Britain should "take a moment" to prepare for withdrawal from the European Union and Mrs May indicated that she was unlikely to start the two-year process before the end of 2016.

"It's a decision that was taken by the British people," Mr Hollande said.

"Firstly it was the British who will have to bear the consequences. Europe will try its best to give its best relationship with the UK.

"But there's a time the politicians have to accept this vote. They have to accept the consequences."

Mr Hollande's trip to Dublin was arranged before last Friday's Bastille Day atrocity in Nice.

The trip has been scaled back in the wake of the terror attack, but Mr Hollande retained a commitment to meet President Michael D Higgins.

He will be back in Paris for talks with Mrs May on Thursday evening.

Mr Hollande said he understood the concerns about ensuring the Irish peace process is not damaged by Brexit.

"I do recognise there is a special situation here for Ireland," he said.

"It's a special situation and it has to be found a special place in the negotiations."

Mr Kenny reiterated his call for a soft border with Northern Ireland to remain.

Defence, deepened security and counter-terrorism measures across Europe were also discussed during his visit to Ireland.

Taoiseach meets French president in Brexit talks

Meetings have taken place in Dublin between the Irish Government and French President Francois Hollande.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny made his case in terms of what the UK referendum result on Brexit means for the Republic of Ireland.

They also discussed measures to tackle terrorism.

Mr Hollande is due to meet with President Michael D Higgins later, during his one day visit.

Brexit on the agenda as Hollande visits Dublin

Credit: UTV

French President Francois Hollande is due in Dublin for talks with Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

The visit, which comes less than a week after the deadly attack on Nice, had been arranged before the atrocity happened and has since been scaled back.

Eighty-four people died and many more were injured after a truck was driven through crowds celebrating Bastille Day on the Promenade des Anglais

It is expected that Hollande and Kenny will discuss counter-terrorism measures and the fallout from the Brexit referendum at Government Buildings on Thursday.

The French President has also retained a commitment to meet Irish president Michael D Higgins and will be back in Paris for talks with Prime Minister Theresa May later.

The discussions in Dublin will be attended by Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan and by Dara Murphy, junior minister for European Affairs.


Taoiseach ‘being mischievous’ about border poll – DUP

Sinn Féin has welcomed the Taoiseach’s comments regarding a border poll – while the DUP has branded them “mischievous”.

It comes after Enda Kenny said any future discussions around Brexit should take an Irish referendum into consideration.

Sinn Féin deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said: “People on the island of Ireland, including the north, will have a decision to make whether they see their future as part of Ireland in Europe or the UK out of Europe.

“Momentum is gathering, as evidenced by the comments made by the Taoiseach”.

However the DUP MP Ian Paisley dismissed the remarks as “quite pathetic”, adding: “One would have expected better from him”.

Mr Paisley added: "The Taoiseach is being deliberately mischievous. Enda should really be concentrating on his own future because we all know that he'll be lucky if he's still Taoiseach in 18 months.

"There's not going to be a border poll, that's the bottom line."

Taoiseach raises prospect of Irish border poll

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said the possibility of a border poll must be taken into account during discussions surrounding Brexit.

A referendum can be held under the terms of the 1998 Agreement and Mr Kenny told RTÉ this must be taken into consideration when negotiations are held.

He said the clause for the poll could be triggered if there is clear evidence of a majority of people in Northern Ireland wishing to leave the UK and join the Republic.

Secretary of State James Brokenshire. Credit: Press Eye

Secretary of State James Brokenshire on Monday rejected the prospect of a poll - following comments from Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the new minister for Brexit is expected to hold talks with First Minister Arlene Foster and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

David Davis is due to speak to both leaders on the phone.

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