Europe News

Brexit: Dutch deny they pushing for concessions on Irish border

BERLIN (Reuters) - The Netherlands denied on Wednesday a report that it was pushing with Germany for the EU to make further concessions to Britain regarding the border between Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland.

German business daily Handelsblatt reported on Wednesday, citing diplomatic sources in Brussels, that Germany, the Netherlands and other countries are ready to make further concessions on the “backstop” arrangement to avoid a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Such concessions would only apply if Ireland approves, the newspaper added. The backstop is part of the Brexit withdrawal agreement rejected by British lawmakers on Tuesday.

The Dutch government denied this was the case.

“This report in no way reflects our position,” a Dutch spokesman said.

German diplomatic sources also said that the 27 EU countries remaining in the block were firmly behind the conclusions of EU leaders in December, which say that the backstop is intended as an insurance policy designed never to be triggered.

Reporting by Tassilo Hummel in Berlin and Philip Blenkinsop in Brussels; editing by Thomas Seythal