March 3, 2019 / 10:08 PM / 8 months ago

Cox scraps bid for Irish backstop time-limit, exit clause - Telegraph

Britain's Attorney General Geoffrey Cox is seen outside of Downing Street in London, Britain, February 27, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

(Reuters) - U.K. Attorney General Geoffrey Cox has abandoned attempts to secure a hard time-limit or unilateral exit mechanism for the Irish backstop, the Telegraph reported on Sunday.

Ministers said Cox's aims that represent central demands of Eurosceptics are considered too "blunt" and have been rejected by the European Union, the newspaper reported.

The “backstop” provision in Britain’s European Union divorce deal, widely known as Brexit, aims at avoiding the return of a hard border between EU member Ireland and Northern Ireland.

The attorney general is trying to secure an enhanced “arbitration mechanism” that allows Britain or the European Union to provide formal notice that the backstop should come to an end, the Telegraph said.

Demands for an “independent” arbitration panel by the negotiators are being resisted by the EU, outside the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, according to the newspaper.

Cox was scheduled to talk to parliament last week, but that was postponed as negotiations continued.

Reporting by Mekhla Raina in Bengaluru; Editing by Bill Berkrot

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