October 18, 2018 / 3:32 PM / in 10 months

UK PM May says option to extend transition could solve Northern Irish backstop issue

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May holds a news conference at the European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium October 18, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Britain is not proposing extending the post-Brexit transition period but the option to do so could help solve the issue of the Northern Irish backstop, Prime Minister Theresa May said on Thursday.

“What has now emerged is the idea that an option to extend the implementation period could be a further solution to this issue of the backstop in Northern Ireland,” May told a news conference in Brussels.

“We are not standing here proposing an extension to the implementation period. What we are doing is working to ensure we have a solution to the backstop issue in Northern Ireland, which is currently a blockage to completing the deal.”

Reporting by Elizabeth Piper and Robin Emmott in Brussels and Costas Pitas in London, Writing by Kylie MacLellan. Editing by Andrew MacAskill

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