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EU says Brexit border plan now ‘a matter of some urgency’

Agreeing a “backstop” plan for the Northern Eire border after Brexit is now “a matter of some urgency”, the EU’s chief negotiator has mentioned.

Michel Barnier mentioned that and not using a “detailed” plan, “there will probably be no settlement”.

The backstop dictates what ought to occur to the Northern Eire border if the UK and EU are unable to achieve a commerce deal that may see a open border maintained. 

Talking after the most recent spherical of talks with Dominic Raab, the Brexit secretary, Mr Barnier mentioned: “We should have an in depth backstop answer, which is legally operational, within the withdrawal settlement.

“The prime minister, Theresa Might, dedicated herself to this, as have all of the leaders of EU establishment – the parliament for instance.”

He added: “It’s a matter of some urgency. We now have to work on drafting an operational backstop.

“This backstop is crucial – its important to conclude the negotiations. With no backstop there will probably be no settlement.”

Mr Barnier mentioned he had requested the UK to offer the technical knowledge wanted to plan how customs checks may work after Brexit.

Mr Raab mentioned the UK was “dedicated” to agreeing a backstop plan.

He mentioned: “The options have to be workable. They ‘ve received to be workable for the communities residing in NI and residing in the Republic of Eire – the individuals affected of their every day lives by what Michel and I are negotiating on behalf of the EU and the UK in the intervening time.”

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