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Brexit minister unable to say what alternative to Irish backstop is

  • Ireland
  • General


On 30 January 2019, the UK Brexit minister Stephen Barclay stated that the British Government is currently exploring alternative options to the Irish backstop within the Withdrawal Agreement, after the UK Parliament voted in support of renegotiating the terms of Britain’s exit from the European Union.  MP’s voted to support the British Prime Minister’s Brexit deal if changes to the Northern Ireland backstop can be secured. Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney subsequently stated that Brexit negotiators have spent two years looking at alternatives to the backstop and no workable alternatives had been identified.

The Irish Government has issued a statement stating that: “the EU position on the withdrawal agreement, including the backstop has not changed” and that preparations will continue for a no-deal scenario. Similar sentiments have been echoed in Europe where a spokesperson for European Council President Donald Tusk commented, “the backstop is part of the withdrawal agreement, and the withdrawal agreement is not open for renegotiation.”


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