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Brexit deal on Ireland will ensure no hard border - minister

DUBLIN, Dec 4 (Reuters) - British and European Union negotiators are "very close to final agreement" on issues relating to Ireland that will ensure there will be no re-imposition of a hard border on the island, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on Monday.

"We hope to be in a place in just over an hour's time that the Taoiseach (prime minister) will be able to make a positive statement to the country that some of the key issues that we have been raising for months will be addressed comprehensively in phase one," Coveney told national broadcaster RTE.

"I think we have now a language that gives us the safeguards we need that, regardless of how the phase two discussions go, that there will be reassurance for people that they will not see the re-emergence of a border on this island."

(Reporting by Padraic; Editing by Angus MacSwan)