September 20, 2018 / 9:12 AM / 8 months ago

Ireland willing to be flexible on content, not outcome of border backstop

FILE PHOTO: Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney answers journalists' questions during a Reuters interview in Berlin, Germany, August 28, 2018. REUTERS/Christian Mang

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland is willing to be flexible on how a backstop agreement on the future of its border with Northern Ireland is achieved but not over the outcome requiring that no physical infrastructure returns along the frontier, Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on Thursday.

“(EU Brexit negotiator) Michel Barnier has already talked about re-writing the backstop from an EU perspective, and I think they (EU negotiators) are responding with quite significant change to those (British) concerns,” Coveney told a news conference.

“Where we cannot be flexible is in terms of the outcome and that guarantee (of no hard border), but of course are willing to be flexible and will look at new ways of achieving that in the context of the backstop.”

Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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