UK's Brexit secretary stresses 'we do not want a hard border' in Ireland

David Davis has spent the day in Northern Ireland meeting business and political leaders

UK's Brexit secretary stresses 'we do not want a hard border' in Ireland

Brexit Secretary David Davis (left) and Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire during a press conference at Stormont House in Belfast. Image: Mark Marlow / PA Wire/Press Association Images

The secretary of state in charge of the UK's exit from the European Union has spent the day in Northern Ireland meeting politicians and business leaders.

David Davis agreed that governments on both sides of the Irish Border want access to open trade and travel.

In an article for the Belfast Telegraph, Mr Davis wrote: "We had a common travel area between the UK and the Republic of Ireland many years before either country was a member of the European Union. We are clear we do not want a hard border - no return to the past - and no unnecessary barriers to trade.

"What we will do is deliver a practical solution that will work in everyone's interests, and I look forward to opening the conversation about how that should operate with my colleagues today," he added.

However, Mr Davis also warned today that Britain has to take control of its borders and the number of people coming in.

First Minister Arlene Foster said there was a clear discussion over the issues which will affect Northern Ireland post-Brexit.

"We talked about the agri-food industry, the energy industry," she said. "We talked about borders, we talked about markets. I felt it was a very good meeting."