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Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney (left) walks with European Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier, prior to a meeting in Brussels on Monday. Photograph:  AFP/Pool

The UK has agreed that the “backstop” guarantee to avoid a hard Irish Border should be included in the draft Brexit treaty and that it will apply unle(...)

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and partner Matt Barrett in New York:  Mr Varadkar said he did not think talk of a united Ireland was helpful at the moment. Photograph: Jason Szenes

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar does not believe that Ireland will be forced to block a Brexit deal this week as negotiations on Britain’s departure from the b(...)

Tánaiste Simon Coveney: A spokesman for him said the remaining 27 EU member states ‘have been consistent that there can be no backsliding on any part of December’s agreement’. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

EU negotiators will this week insist the British abandon their hardline position and show a willingness to commit to the so-called backstop guaranteei(...)

Members of the European Movement in Scotland demonstrate against  Brexit  outside the Scottish Labour Party Conference  in Dundee in recent days. File photograph: by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

UK optimism that next week’s EU summit will endorse an agreement on its Brexit transition may be premature, EU diplomatic sources have warned. Londo(...)

An Italian policeman looks at an electoral poster at a polling station in Rome. Why are Italian voters so disenchanted? The obvious answers are that economic performance has been so dismal, while established Italian policymakers appear so ineffective

The election results in Italy are a lesson to Europe. Italians were once among the most enthusiastic supporters of the European project. This is true (...)

Russian president Vladimir Putin: Donald  Trump also signed on to an unusually strong statement that accused Russia of being behind the “first offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since the second world war”. Photograph:  Alexander Zemlianichenko/AFP/Getty Images

Nato’s leading powers closed ranks against Vladimir Putin on Thursday as the US unveiled new sanctions against Moscow and joined with France and Germa(...)

EU finance commissioner Pierre Moscovici said Europe must “act fast” to secure a common approach to digital tax”. Adding that he expects Ireland to pay a positive role in the negotiations, despite its reservations. Photograph: Olivier Hoslet/EPA

Paschal Donohoe and other EU finance ministers have sharply criticised EU finance commissioner Pierre Moscovici, as tensions rise before next week’s b(...)

Dutch professor Madeleine de Cock Buning welcomed the extent to which the giant social media companies such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter engaged with and supported the work. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Social media organisations like Facebook and Google should engage with a new system of international self-regulation to fight the proliferation of fak(...)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney: ‘In truth, there is no way we are going to have a detailed free trade agreement negotiated before Britain leaves the European Union’. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

The temporary transition period starting after Britain leaves the European Union in just over a year’s time may have to be extended beyond the end of (...)

The Reichstag building, seat of the German parliament Bundestag, in Berlin. While Andrea Nahles polishes the SPD’s left-wing brasses, Merkel is braced for CDU conservatives challenging the European reform agenda. Photograph:  EPA/Alexander Becher

The unit of time in Germany is not the minute, the hour or even the day, but the week. And it’s 24 weeks –- nearly half a year – since German voters c(...)

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