Brexit fallout

The fallout continues in the wake of the UK's historic vote to leave the European Union.

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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.

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