Irish PM says time-limited Brexit backstop would not be acceptable

Ireland's Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Dublin, Ireland, May 26, 2018. REUTERS/Max Rossi

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland cannot agree to a time-limited version of a post-Brexit backstop arrangement that guarantees the retention of an open border between it and Northern Ireland, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Thursday.

“The principle that is in the existing backstop that is supported by the 27 EU member states is that it applies at least until there is an alternative in place,” Varadkar told reporters before the British government published its proposals.

“It is not something that can be just time-limited..., it has to be as they say “all weather”, it has to be applicable until such a time if and when there is a new relationship between the EU and UK that prevents a hard border.”

Reporting by Padraic Halpin; editing by John Stonestreet