November 6, 2018 / 3:06 PM / 10 months ago

Irish PM says backstop can't have expiry date or unilateral exit clause

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaks to media at the central count centre in Dublin castle at the Irish presidential election and the blasphemy referendum in Dublin, Ireland, October 27, 2018. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland is open to creative language and creative solutions but will not change its position that a border backstop clause in a Brexit deal can have no expiry date or unilateral exit clause, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Tuesday.

“There has to be a backstop as part of the withdrawal agreement, and that backstop cannot have an expiry date or unilateral exit clause,” he told Ireland’s parliament.

Earlier on Tuesday European affairs minister Helen McEntee said the government was open to a review mechanism that would allow the EU and Britain to decide when a backstop to keep the Irish border open after Brexit was no longer needed.

Reporting by Graham Fahy; editing by John Stonestreet

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