EU: Backstop is only solution to Irish border issue
Updated 20:08, 01-Feb-2019
CGTN

The EU does not see any solution to resolving the issue of Irish border arrangements after Brexit other than having a backstop, German justice minister Katarina Barley said on Friday, following similar comments made by Austria and Ireland.

"We definitely will not accept a border in the normal sense between Ireland and Northern Ireland, that is something that we've been very clear about from the very beginning," Barley told Irish broadcaster RTE. "The problem is we don't see any other proposition by the British government," she said.

"I think that is important that we (the EU 27) all stay together and don't let time pressure divide us," added Barley.

Anti-Brexit activists protest outside the British Parliament, London, January 30, 2019. /VCG Photo

Anti-Brexit activists protest outside the British Parliament, London, January 30, 2019. /VCG Photo

Austria's Europe minister Helen McEntee stressed that Britain must set out its goals if it wants to get an extension to the Brexit timescale to try to reach a deal to leave the EU.

"If they were to ask for an extension I think it would be approved ... but there is no point in looking for an extension if we end up back to the same place as we are now in three months' time," said McEntee.

Austrian foreign minister even warned of "heading toward a hard Brexit" as shown by recent signs.

British lawmakers Tuesday instructed Theresa May to reopen her Brexit treaty with the EU to replace the backstop, an insurance policy to prevent the return of a hard border in Ireland, but promptly received a rejection from Brussels.

(Cover: British and EU flags flutter outside the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain, January 30, 2019. /VCG Photo)

Source(s): Reuters