July 16, 2019 / 2:40 PM / 6 months ago

Irish finance minister says no-deal Brexit more likely

FILE PHOTO: Ireland's Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe speaks during an interview with Reuters at the Ministry of Finance in Dublin, Ireland, February 5, 2018. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Irish finance minister Paschal Donohoe said on Tuesday that the prospect of Britain leaving the European Union without a deal was more likely than it had been.

Both candidates to replace Theresa May as prime minister, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, have said that they would be prepared to pursue a no-deal Brexit if necessary and have ruled out accepting an Irish backstop, an insurance policy to prevent the return of border controls in Ireland.

“I followed what was said last night in relation to the contenders for leadership of the Conservative Party ... The Irish government and the EU are really clear that we will not be changing the content of the backstop agreement,” Donohoe said.

Reporting by Graham Fahy; editing by Kate Holton

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