February 3, 2019 / 11:25 AM / 19 days ago

Existing technology can be used to avoid hard border in Ireland: UK minister

Britain's Home Secretary Sajid Javid arrives in Downing Street in London, Britain January 29, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - It is possible to use existing technology to solve the issue of post-Brexit arrangements for the border between the United Kingdom and Ireland, Britain’s interior minister Sajid Javid said on Sunday.

On Tuesday lawmakers instructed the government to go back to the EU to find an alternative to the so-called ‘backstop’, an insurance policy to retain an open UK-Ireland border if Britain and the EU fail to reach a longer-term trade agreement.

“It can be done ... you can have no hard border on the island of Ireland and you can use existing technology, it is perfectly possible. The only thing that is missing is a bit of good will on the EU side,” Javid told BBC TV.

Javid said that the EU had made clear it would help create alternative arrangements to avoid a hard border in Ireland if Britain ends up leaving the bloc without a deal.

“If they can do it in a ‘no deal’ scenario, why can’t they do it in a deal scenario?,” he said. “That is why I think the most likely outcome is still a deal.”

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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