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Theresa May seeks to answer local concerns with visit to Irish border

Prime Minister Theresa May (left) and Arlene Foster, the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) during a visit to Belleek pottery factory on the northern side of the border between Enniskillen in Northern Ireland and Ballyshannon in Donegal. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 19, 2018. See PA story POLITICS Brexit Ireland. Photo credit should read: Clodagh Kilcoyne/PA Wire

The Prime Minister has made her first visit to the Irish border since the Brexit referendum.

Theresa May toured the Belleek Pottery factory in Co Fermanagh, meeting workers and business representatives from both sides of the border.

Democratic Unionist leader Arlene Foster welcomed her to the famous landmark, which sits close to the almost invisible frontier between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

Mrs Foster, whose 10 MPs prop up the Prime Minister's minority government at Westminster, had extended an invite to Mrs May to visit her Fermanagh and South Tyrone constituency on what will be a two-day schedule of events in Northern Ireland.

The Prime Minister had faced criticism for failing to hear first-hand from people living and working near what is to become one of the UK's two land borders with the European Union after Brexit, the other being Gibraltar.

The border remains a crucial sticking point in Brexit negotiations with the EU, amid a stand-off between the UK and Brussels on how to maintain free flow of movement across the 310-mile frontier between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

Brexiteer Mrs Foster insisted Mrs May would come away hearing of the challenges and opportunities presented by Brexit.

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