Phil Hogan disappointed by pace of Brexit negotiations

Phil Hogan
Image caption Mr Hogan said it seems the UK still has to come to terms with its negotiating mandate.

The EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Affairs Phil Hogan has said he is very "disappointed" with the pace of Brexit negotiations and the content of last week's negotiations in Brussels.

Mr Hogan was speaking on RTÉ's CountryWide programme on Saturday.

He said it seems the UK still has to come to terms with its negotiating mandate.

"This is happening at a time when the clock is ticking, as [EU negotiator] Mr Barnier has said," Mr Hogan said.

"It's four months since Article 50 was triggered."

Mr Hogan also said that it beggars belief to see the type of inconsistency and lack of co-ordination at the moment from the UK side.

On Friday, Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) Leo Varadkar said the government does not want any sort of economic border on the island of Ireland after Brexit.

Mr Varadkar said if Britain wants to put forward technological solutions that is up to them, but the government would not do that work for them.

Ulster Unionist Party leader Robin Swann said Mr Varadkar's comments were "totally irresponsible".

"If the taoiseach thinks he is going to use the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to make a name for himself he should think again," he added.

Earlier on Friday, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney denied a newspaper report that suggested the Irish government preferred a sea border.

In the 2016 referendum, the UK as a whole voted to leave the EU but in Northern Ireland, 56% of the electorate voted to remain.

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