Barnier insists on ‘all-weather’ Irish backstop


European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier gestures as he delivers a speech at the “Les Grandes Conferences Catholiques”, in Brussels, Belgium, November 5, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – A “backstop” arrangement for avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland whatever happens after Brexit is a condition for any EU withdrawal agreement with Britain, EU negotiator Michel Barnier said on Tuesday.

Describing a meeting with Slovakia’s prime minister on the state of the Brexit talks, Barnier tweeted: “Strong common commitment to work for orderly withdrawal, which must include all-weather backstop for IE/NI (Ireland and Northern Ireland) and ambitious future relationship. We are not there yet.”

Reporting by Alastair Macdonald ; @macdonaldrtr; Editing by Alison Williams

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