January 23, 2019 / 8:00 AM / 6 months ago

A time-limited Brexit backstop would be useless: EU's Barnier

FILE PHOTO: European Union's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier delivers a speech during a debate on BREXIT after the vote on british Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, January 16, 2019. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - A temporary safeguard to avoid erecting a physical border between Ireland and Northern Ireland after Brexit would serve no purpose, the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier said on Wednesday.

In an interview to newspapers Le Monde, Rzeczpospolita and Luxemburger Wort, Barnier said the current backstop proposal over the border was the only option on the table.

“The question of limiting the backstop in time has already been discussed twice by European leaders. This is the only possible option because an insurance is of no use if it is time limited,” Barnier said.

Reporting by Matthias Blamont; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta

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