News World Ireland says Brexit backstop alternatives tested, none work

Ireland says Brexit backstop alternatives tested, none work

Brexit negotiators have spent two years looking at alternatives to the backstop insurance policy to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland and have not found any that work, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on Wednesday.

After British lawmakers ordered Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday to renegotiate the divorce deal she struck with the European Union in November, Brexit minister Stephen Barclay said London was exploring such alternatives.

Asked repeatedly what could replace the backstop, Barclay said simply that there were a number of options around time limits, exit clauses and technology.

“We have been through all of these things. We have tested them and we have found that they do not stand up to scrutiny, and now we have a British prime minister advocating again for the same things that were tested,” Coveney told national broadcaster RTE.

“What we are being asked to do here is to compromise on a solution that works and to replace it with wishful thinking. That’s what’s being asked of the Irish government and we won’t do it.”

May has said she will seek “legally binding changes” to the divorce deal but has been met with a blunt response from the EU with European Council President Donald Tusk, among others, backing Dublin in saying it was not up for renegotiation.

Coveney said there were mechanisms to get around some of the challenges May faces but the only way to do so was through the accompanying political declaration on future EU-UK ties that he said can be renegotiated to ease concerns on the backstop.

He also challenged May to stand by her previous statements that the backstop was necessary to avoid a return of customs checks between British-run Northern Ireland and EU-member Ireland.

However, she was having to accommodate a wing in the Conservative Party who want a different type of Brexit, he said.

“She has outlined repeatedly that the backstop is not only desirable but necessary to reassure people in Northern Ireland so surely the responsible thing for the Irish government to do is to hold the British government to its word.”

(Reuters)

Top Stories

160 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday

The Health Ministry announced 160 new COVID-19 cases on 23 October, out of 4,327 laboratory tests, taking confirmed infections to 3,314. The break-down of new...

Health Ministry insists there is confirmed case among American Center staff

The Health Ministry replied to the denial of the American Medical Center regarding a confirmed case among its staff. In an announcement the Ministry noted...

Health Ministry replies to accusation about delay of the tracing unit

The tracing unit contacts the persons who have tested positive to COVID-19 as soon as it is informed by the relevant laboratories and the...

Professor of Microbiology concerned about asymptomatic patients

Dr Petros Karayiannis, Professor of Microbiology/Molecular Virology at the University of Nicosia Medical School, has expressed concern over the great number of private hospitals,...

30-year-old missing for seven months (PHOTO)

Police are looking for 30-year old NAKITA YASMEEN from the United Kingdom, whose traces have been lost since March 2020. Yasmeen’s disappearance was today...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...