March 11, 2019 / 11:19 PM / 5 months ago

Britain to make unilateral declaration that backstop won't apply if talks break down: May

British Prime Minister Theresa May arrives for a news conference with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Strasbourg, France March 11, 2019. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain will make a unilateral statement that nothing can prevent it pulling out of an Irish border backstop if talks about a future relationship with the European Union after Brexit break down, Prime Minister Theresa May said on Monday.

In a news conference in Strasbourg, May said that in addition to a joint instrument and a joint statement announced earlier in parliament, Britain would also make a Unilateral Declaration on the so-called backstop - an insurance policy aimed at avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland.

If the backstop comes into force and talks on the future relationship break down with no prospect of an agreement, May said the declaration would make clear: “it is the position of the United Kingdom that there would be nothing to prevent the UK instigating measures that would ultimately dis-apply the backstop.”

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan, writing by Alistair Smout

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