November 5, 2018 / 2:10 PM / a month ago

Britain tells Ireland it needs mechanism to end any Brexit backstop

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

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday told her Irish counterpart Leo Varadkar that there would need to be a mechanism to end any backstop arrangement designed to prevent a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland after Brexit.

“They agreed that the intention was that the backstop should only be a temporary arrangement and that the best solution to the Northern Ireland border would be found by agreeing a future relationship between the UK and the EU,” a spokesman from May’s office said in a statement following a call between May and Varadkar.

“In order to ensure that the backstop, if ever needed, would be temporary, the Prime Minister said that there would need to be a mechanism through which the backstop could be brought to an end.”

Reporting by William James, Editing by Kylie MacLellan

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