November 5, 2018 / 1:50 PM / 16 days ago

Britain tells Ireland it needs mechanism to end any Brexit backstop

FILE PHOTO - Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street in London, Britain, October 29, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

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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