What happened in the third round of Brexit negotiations from 28 to 31 August? Was any progress made in the contentious areas of citizens' rights for EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU after Brexit? And has the UK agreed to pay the 'divorce bill' demanded by the EU? And could the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland remain open and flexible after Brexit? The talks did not resolve these issues, but some aspects were agreed. Will this be enough to allow a move to phase two of the negotiations in October?

The border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and how it will operate, is one of the three main areas of discussion in the first phase of Brexit negotiations . This paper sets out the different UK and EU negotiating positions as well as how they both pledge to honour the Good Friday Agreement, and what this pledge commits both sides to. It looks at how the Northern Irish devolved government is inputting into the talks, and how the confidence and supply deal between the Conservative party and the DUP might impact on the negotiations. This paper explores how people will move between the two countries, and how the Common Travel Area might be maintained. It also looks at the complexities of avoiding a 'hard border', the stated position of both the EU and the UK, while still adhering to EU rules on moving goods between itself and countries outside the Single Market and Customs Union.

Key Issues 2017 is a series of short briefings on the topics that will take centre stage in UK and international politics in the new Parliament. Written by impartial Commons Library specialists, these articles are designed to help the reader get up to speed quickly on issues such as; Brexit, the housing crisis, the future of devolution and much more.