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UK cannot unilaterally scrap border backstop: Irish foreign minister

FILE PHOTO: Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney, speaks at a ‘Getting Ireland Brexit Ready’ workshop at the Convention Centre in Dublin, Ireland October 25, 2018. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne/File Photo

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Neither Ireland or the European Union would ever agree to a backstop to keep the Irish border open after Brexit that could be ended unilaterally by Britain, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on Monday.

“The Irish position remains consistent and v clear that a “time-limited backstop” or a backstop that could be ended by UK unilaterally would never be agreed to by Ireland or the European Union,” Coveney said on Twitter.

“These ideas are not backstops at all + don’t deliver on previous UK commitments,” he added, following a media report that British Brexit minister Dominic Raab had privately demanded the right to pull Britain out of the “backstop” arrangement for the Irish border after three months.

Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky

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