July 26, 2018 / 4:32 PM / 21 days ago

UK's Raab confident over Irish backstop, says must be time-limited

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Britain’s Brexit minister said on Thursday he was confident that a workable “backstop” could be found to resolve the issue of the border with Ireland after Brexit, but said any such backstop needed to be limited in time.

Britain's Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union Dominic Raab looks on as he holds a joint news conference with European Union's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier (not pictured) in Brussels, Belgium July 26, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman

Raab said Britain and the European Union had agreed on matters related to citizens’ rights after Brexit and on a financial settlement and were stepping up efforts to ensure there was no hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

“With pragmatism on both sides I am confident we can find a way to resolve it into a workable solution and that will be easier to achieve if the backstop, if it were to be exercised at all, could only be for a time-limited period before the future arrangements become operational,” Dominic Raab told a news conference.

Raab said there could be no deal until the whole deal was done. The European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said it was clear to the bloc that what Britain had agreed to had been definitively agreed.

Reporting by Alastair Macdonald and Philip Blenkinsop; editing by Robert-Jan Bartunek

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