Tuesday 21 January 2020

'Without a backstop, there's no deal' - Leo

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

Ireland cannot accept alternative arrangements to checks on the Border as a replacement for the backstop, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said.

Mr Varadkar said he could not accept the deletion of the backstop mechanism from the Withdrawal Agreement unless it had been demonstrated how such arrangements would work in practice to ensure there are no customs checks on the Border.

A new body of experts has been set up in the UK to look at potential alternative arrangements.


Many Brexiteers believe technological solutions could replace the backstop.

However, Mr Varadkar said he could not see evidence of arrangements being outlined before the October 31 deadline for the UK's withdrawal from the EU.

The Taoiseach made the remarks at the end of an EU summit in Brussels as European Council president Donald Tusk said Brexit would become "more exciting" than before with a change of British prime minister, but that the EU's position had not changed.

"We can't accept that alternative arrangements are an alternative to a backstop unless we can see what these alternative arrangements are," Mr Varadkar said.

"That hasn't been done yet and I don't see that being done this side of October 31, which is why we certainly can't accept the deletion of the backstop.

"For us, a deal without a backstop is effectively no deal."

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