June 8, 2018 / 1:58 PM / 11 days ago

May will never accept customs border between Northern Ireland and UK - spokesman

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain will never accept a customs border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom and that position will not change, a government spokesman said on Friday, referring to a plan for the Irish border.

British Prime Minister Theresa May addresses a news conference in Skopje, Macedonia May 17, 2018. REUTERS/Ognen Teofilovski

Earlier, the European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator said an economic arrangement to avoid a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland could not be extended to the whole of Britain, as London proposes.

“The prime minister has been clear that we will never accept a customs border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom. We are also committed to maintaining the integrity of our own internal market. That position will not change,” the spokesman said.

“The Commission’s proposals did not achieve this, which is why we have put forward our own backstop solutions for customs.”

Reporting by Elizabeth Piper. Editing by Andrew MacAskill

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