Europe News

Germany dismisses reports Merkel would time-limit Brexit backstop

British Prime Minister Theresa May is welcomed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as they meet to discuss Brexit, at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, April 9, 2019. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

BERLIN (Reuters) - A German government spokesman dismissed as “without any foundation” reports that Chancellor Angela Merkel was prepared to limit to five years the so-called backstop that would prevent a hard border in Ireland after Brexit.

Earlier, sterling had risen on the reports, attributed by a BBC reporter to a British lawmaker.

“The reports are without any foundation,” the German government spokesman said in an e-mailed statement on Tuesday. “The withdrawal agreement stands.”

Reporting by Rene Wagner; Writing by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Paul Carrel