BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union and Britain have agreed that there must be a “backstop” solution to ensure that there is no hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, according to the draft text of a Brexit treaty published on Monday.
Dublin is concerned at London’s rejection of a “backstop” arrangement set out as a separate protocol in the EU’s draft of the withdrawal treaty. Under this, Northern Ireland would effectively submit to EU economic rules and so become potentially isolated from the British mainland.
“With respect to the draft protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland, the negotiators agree that a legally operative version of the “backstop” solution for the border... should be agreed as part of the legal text of the Withdrawal Agreement, to apply unless and until another solution is found,” a preamble to the draft text said.
The text made clear that Britain had not agreed to the specific proposal made by the European Union.
Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; editing by Alastair Macdonald