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Theresa May outside 10 Downing Street on Wednesday. On first inspection, the draft agreement between the UK and the EU  fulfils the key requirements of the Irish Government. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Backstop? Tick. Legally operable? Tick. No expiry date? Tick. No unilateral withdrawal? Tick. On first inspection, the draft agreement between the UK(...)

Neither party to the Brexit negotiations wants to see the return of a hard border but they cannot agree a plan on how to achieve this. File photograph: PA Wire

Why is the Irish Border such a big deal with Brexit? The 499-kilometre border running from Carlingford Lough to Lough Foyle will become the only land (...)

Fine Gael think-in: Minister of State for Housing Damien English and Leo Varadkar on Friday. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

The Common Travel Area between the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom will remain in place even in the event of a no-deal Brexit next year, th(...)

Bertie Ahern: “How much money will the British government allocate post-2020 to substitute EU-financed programmes that operate in Northern Ireland?” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

There needs to be more discussion about how the UK government is going to replace EU investment in Northern Ireland post-Brexit, former taoiseach Bert(...)

Ethiopia’s newly elected prime minister Abiy Ahmed: widely seen as a reformer.  Photograph: Tiksa Negeri

A recent declaration by US lawmakers could signal a significant shift in Washington’s approach to addressing Ethiopia’s human rights record. Ethiopia(...)

British prime minister Theresa May:  “The UK thinks everything has to change on the EU’s side so that everything can stay the same for the UK,”  a senior EU official said. Photograph: Will Oliver/EPA

Proposals that the UK would use the Irish “backstop” provisions in Britain as well as Northern Ireland after Brexit will simply not be acceptable, the(...)

A couple sit in a park in Damascus after the US, UK and France attacked three sites said to be related to Syria’s chemical weapons programme. Photograph: Ali Hashisho

My driver Moutaz was upbeat during the drive from Beirut to Damascus. “My brother’s son has come home after seven years in the army. I know of other s(...)

The Department of Finance report forms part of the Government’s preparations and contingency planning around Brexit

Ireland is a “substantial outlier” among EU states in terms of the exposure on imports to Brexit across almost every sector, according to a new report(...)

Pierre Moscovici, European commissioner in charge of economic and financial affairs: “The digital economy is a major opportunity for Europe, and Europe is a huge source of revenues for digital firms.” Photograph: Olivier Hoslet/EPA

New European Commission proposals to tax giant digital companies are expected to get a rough ride when EU leaders debate the issue at their summit her(...)

Animal welfare: pigs like edible, chewable, investigable and manipulable diversions. Illustration: Michael Viney

To watch Adam Henson, my favourite farmer, on BBC’s Countryfile, giving a scratch to the belly of his favourite sow is sometimes to speculate about ho(...)

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