Ireland says UK proposals to replace backstop not good enough
Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said Ireland is open to suggestions to break the Brexit stalemate over the backstop but Britain has not provided any alternative arrangements that “do the same job.”
Speaking from Prague where he met Czech Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek, Coveney told reporters: “I think we need to be honest here, that the alternative arrangements that have been discussed to date do not do the same job as the backstop, not even close.”
The backstop is an insurance policy negotiated as part of the Withdrawal Agreement between the European Union and the UK and designed to safeguard peace in Ireland by preventing the erection of a physical border.
It is meant to kick in when Britain exits the bloc and last through a proposed transition period until a better solution can be found.
But British lawmakers have rejected the Withdrawal Agreement three times with Brexiteer MPs blaming the backstop, which they argue would split up the UK as Northern Ireland would remain in the EU’s customs union.