Brexit Secretary David Davis has told the House of Commons that the UK's relationship with Ireland is one of the most important aspects of Brexit preparations.

DUP MP Ian Paisley Jr had asked Mr Davis if he was familiar with comments by former Irish diplomat Ray Bassett who had expressed the view that the other 26 EU nations "don't really listen to Ireland".

Mr Davis reiterated his commitment to keep an open border on the island of Ireland.

He has set out his government's negotiating strategy for the UK's withdrawal from the EU in a keenly-awaited white paper.

Launching the 77-page document in a statement to the House of Commons, Mr Davis said the paper confirmed British Prime Minister Theresa May's vision of "an independent and truly global United Kingdom".

Confirming the UK's strategy would be guided by the 12 principles set out by Mrs May in her Lancaster House speech last month, Mr Davis said the government was aiming for "a new, positive and constructive partnership between Britain and the European Union that works in our mutual interest".

The white paper says that time needed to phase in new arrangements after leaving the EU may differ according to the issue.

It is entitled The United Kingdom's Exit From And New Partnership With The European Union.

It was published a day after MPs voted overwhelmingly to permit Mrs May to press ahead with starting withdrawal negotiations under Article 50 of the EU treaties.

Key points of UK government's Brexit strategy

Last night, 498 votes in favour and 114 against left Mrs May's government with a comfortable majority of 384 for the right of the prime minister to trigger the process of leaving the EU.

A promise to publish such a document was seen as an attempt by Mrs May to quell any rebellion in her party's ranks which might have seen her lose last night's vote.

Ireland's place is in Europe, Varadkar says in London

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar has said that Ireland's place is at the heart of Europe, and that Europe is a home which Ireland helped to build.

Speaking in London, Mr Varadkar welcomed the white paper and said he was particularly happy to see a section re-stating the British government's commitment to the Good Friday Agreement.

Mr Varadkar met with his British counterpart Damian Green.  The two discussed the common citizenship which exists between Ireland and the UK allowing people to live, work and access services as though they were citizens of both countries. 

He said it was something which both countries were committed to continuing.