Brexit: Irish rule out time-limited Brexit backstop

Andrew Cummings
November 5, 2018

His comments came after Ireland's deputy premier Simon Coveney said he believes a Brexit deal could be reached by the end of November, with his Westminster counterpart, Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington, saying negotiators were "very close", after the pair held talks in Dublin.

Brexit is undermining Northern Ireland's hard-won peace by creating tensions between Catholic and Protestant communities, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said Saturday, even as hopes rose for a solution to the Irish border problem that has deadlocked negotiations.

In a tweet on Monday Mr Coveney said: "The Irish position remains consistent and very clear that a "time-limited backstop" or a backstop that could be ended by United Kingdom unilaterally would never be agreed to by Ireland or EU".

Her plan would avoid the need for a hard border in Northern Ireland, which has always been the main sticking point in negotiations.

Britain would remain in a temporary customs union with the EU, avoiding a hard Irish border, as part of a new deal being thrashed out between London and Brussels, according to a Sunday Times report.


The hardline stance adopted by the British "stunned" Irish officials, and was viewed as a setback to clinching a Brexit deal this week.

The EU has proposed a backstop that would mean Northern Ireland staying in the EU customs union, large parts of the single market and the EU VAT system.

Downing Street has called the reports speculation, but also claim that the majority of the UK's Brexit plan had already been agreed.

Ahead of Mrs May's cabinet meeting, sources here said the situation was at its "most sensitive yet" and she will be "dancing on the head of a pin" to secure agreement on the deal in her government.

It will also include an "exit clause" created to convince Brexiteers that remaining in the customs union is only temporary, the newspaper said.


A spokesperson said: "The prime minister has been clear that we are making good progress on the future relationship and 95pc of the Withdrawal Agreement is now settled and negotiations are ongoing".

Under the banner headline "Revealed: Theresa May's secret Brexit deal", The Sunday Times said the European Union accepts that regulatory checks on goods can be carried out in factories and shops rather than at the border.

Senior sources told the paper that Prime Minister Theresa May has secured concessions from Brussels, with the EU agreeing to write an "all-UK" customs union into the divorce deal. "I certainly hope we are".

There is the prospect of a special European Union summit later this month if a deal on the backstop can be reached later this week.


Other reports by iNewsToday

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