Brexit: Irish deputy PM hopes backstop will be 'unnecessary' | 2019-07-21

Brexit: Irish deputy PM hopes backstop will be 'unnecessary'

BBC

21st July, 2019 04:34:16 printer

Brexit: Irish deputy PM hopes backstop will be 'unnecessary'

 

Ireland wants a relationship between the UK and EU that makes the so-called backstop unnecessary, the country's deputy prime minister has said.

Writing in the Sunday Times, Simon Coveney said he looked forward to working with the new UK prime minister, who takes office on Wednesday.

But he said the withdrawal agreement reached between the UK and the EU was not up for renegotiation.

He also said a no-deal Brexit would "devastate" Northern Ireland's economy.

The backstop, included in the withdrawal agreement negotiated by Prime Minister Theresa May and the EU, is designed as an insurance policy to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland after Brexit.

But the withdrawal agreement was rejected three times by MPs in the Commons, with the backstop a key sticking point among Brexiteers.

The two men vying to become the next prime minister, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, have said the backstop is "dead" - a position seen as increasing the likelihood of a no-deal Brexit.


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