January 25, 2019 / 8:04 PM / 25 days ago

No-deal Brexit could be 'extremely difficult' in short to medium term - junior minister

FILE PHOTO: British and EU flags flutter outside the Houses of Parliament during a pro-Brexit and anti-Brexit demonstration, ahead of a vote on Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal, in London, Britain, January 15, 2019. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

LONDON (Reuters) - A no-deal Brexit could be “extremely difficult” in the short to medium term, a junior finance minister in Prime Minister Theresa May’s government said, adding that there would ostensibly have to be a hard border on the island of Ireland.

“In the short-to-medium term, I think it could be extremely difficult,” Mel Stride was quoted as saying in an article published on Friday in parliament’s The House magazine.

The Irish backstop, a provision to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, remains the main sticking point preventing May from securing support for her deal.

“We would ostensibly have to have a hard border there,” Stride said of a no-deal scenario. “We are not going to impose a hard border, but the EU will presumably be insisting that the Irish government goes in that direction otherwise they damage the integrity of the single market.”

Reporting by Costas Pitas

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