September 21, 2018 / 12:06 PM / a month ago

UK to detail new Irish backstop proposals in due course - Brexit minister

LONDON, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Britain is to set out new proposals to reassure Dublin it would not get a “hard border” with the province of Northern Ireland when the UK leaves the European Union next year, Brexit minister Dominic Raab said on Friday.

But he declined to say whether they would be published before the ruling Conservative Party’s annual conference which starts on Sept. 30.

“As the Prime Minister said (after Thursday’s EU summit in Salzburg), we’ll set out our proposals when we set them out,” Raab told BBC television.

“One thing we will do is respond to what the EU has said and particularly around the technological approach and we’re absolutely clear there will be no customs border down the Irish Sea,” Raab said.

The EU has insisted on a “backstop” clause in any Brexit treaty. This would keep Northern Ireland under EU economic oversight if London and Brussels cannot agree a trade pact to keep UK-EU borders open after a transition period ends in 2020 - an idea that Prime Minister Theresa May and a small party in the province that props up her minority government oppose.

“What we do want to do is resolve that in a sensible way - we’ve got to come up with a deliverable solution that works for the communities in Northern Ireland and indeed in the republic,” Raab added. (Reporting by James Davey; editing by Stephen Addison)

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