October 25, 2018 / 9:21 AM / a year ago

British 'all-UK' backstop falls short, may be part of solution: Irish PM

Ireland's Prime Minister (Taoiseach) and Defence Minister Leo Varadkar reacts as he speaks to the media during the ASEM leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium October 19, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Britain’s proposal that a so-called “all-UK” backstop provide an insurance mechanism to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland falls short of EU demands but could form part of a solution, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Thursday.

“The UK are proposing that for a temporary period they would sort of stay in the customs union and that falls short,” Varadkar told a government event to prepare businesses for the impact of Brexit.

“I don’t think it’s a non-runner, I think it’s something that we can consider, something we’re listening to. It might be part of the solution but I don’t see it as an alternative to the (Northern Ireland-only) backstop and it would have to be on the basis that there would be a level playing field (between Britain and the EU).”

Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

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