Irish border backstop on Brexit talks agenda
The latest round of Brexit negotiations have gotten under way in Brussels.
The two days of talks will be led by officials, rather than by the UK and EU chief negotiators Dominic Raab and Michel Barnier.
The two sides were scheduled to discuss issues surrounding the Irish border, including how to achieve an agreed 'backstop' to prevent a hard border.
Tomorrow, the talks will focus on the UK's future customs and trade relationships with the EU.
Last month, Mr Barnier rejected key elements of British Prime Minister Theresa May's latest trade proposals.
On the eve of the talks, Latvia's foreign minister Edgars Rinkēvičs warned that the chance of a no-deal Brexit was "50-50".
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Fine Gael's spokesperson on EU Affairs, Senator Neale Richmond, has underlined the need for both parties to work towards a deal, warning a no-deal Brexit would be worse for the UK and Ireland than anyone else.
Mr Richmond said: "Arch Brexiteers can no longer simply dismiss as 'fear mongering' the sage warnings being made by the Bank of England, the National Farmers Union, the PSNI or the aviation sector.
"Put quite bluntly, a no deal scenario and a reliance on WTO rules would cause chaos in the UK.
"Flights would be grounded, crops will rot in the ground, there will be a run on the banks, trucks will be stuck at ports and a hard border would be a target for dissident paramilitaries.
"A no deal Brexit would be worse for the UK and Ireland than anyone else directly involved. It is vital that negotiations continue and that a realistic approach is taken."