UK exploring alternative Irish backstop options - Brexit minister

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union Stephen Barclay arrives in Downing Street to meet Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May, in London, Britain January 24, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain is exploring alternative options to the backstop within the Withdrawal Agreement from the European Union, after parliament voted to order Prime Minister Theresa May to renegotiate the terms, Brexit minister Stephen Barclay said.

Parliament voted late on Tuesday to order May to return to Brussels to replace the so-called Irish backstop, an insurance policy that aims to prevent the reintroduction of a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

“The dynamic did change last night and it gives a clear mandate to the prime minister to take back to Brussels,” Barclay told BBC radio on Wednesday.

Asked repeatedly what could replace the backstop in the deal he said: “There are a number of options, there are issues in terms of having time limits, issues in terms of exit clauses, issues in terms of technology and this will be the nature of the negotiation with the EU in the coming days.”

Reporting by Kate Holton, editing by David Milliken