'We must share the burden' – Ireland agrees to accept more migrants under new EU deal
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'We must share the burden' – Ireland agrees to accept more migrants under new EU deal

IRELAND has agreed to accept more migrants as part of a new "burden-sharing" deal with its EU partners.

All 28 EU member states vowed to take shared responsibility for the migrant crisis following eight hours of contentious deliberations in Brussels last night.

The talks concluded at 5am this morning and were delayed after Italy’s new Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte refused to sign off conclusions until he was promised several assurances.

Speaking earlier, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: “I can confirm that before 5am, the 28 member states managed to agree a compromised framework on managing illegal migration largely based on new principles.

“We took the view that we needed to have a degree of burden-sharing and the transfer of migrants to countries.

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"Ireland has already agreed to accept some from that as well."

'A European problem'

The tentative deal comes after Italy's new populist government closed ports to rescue ships operated by charities and demanded its EU partners share the burden brought by the migrant crisis.

Plans involve the establishment of closed migrant centres in EU states to process asylum claims and decide whether applicants have a right to remain or be sent home.

Ireland also pledged €15 million towards a €500 million trust fund aimed at assisting African countries in stemming the flow of migrants leaving for Europe.

Mr Varadkar added: "This is a European problem, and one that we need to work together on.

"We have also committed to working with African countries, supporting them to build up governance, to build up security and economic opportunity - providing an extra €500 million to the European Trust Fund for Africa."

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