EU could offer more backstop assurances if UK moves on customs union
The European Union can offer Britain more assurances over the Irish border ‘backstop’ in a political declaration on post-Brexit ties if London moves towards accepting a permanent customs union, a leading EU lawmaker dealing with Brexit said, Reuters reports.
Danuta Hubner spoke to Reuters as British Prime Minister Theresa May headed back to Brussels to demand the renegotiation of the legal withdrawal treaty she agreed with the EU but cannot get ratified at home.
May wants to replace the emergency Irish border fix with unspecified “alternative arrangements” to ensure no return of extensive border checks on the island of Ireland, something the EU says is vague and not enough of a guarantee.
“‘Alternative arrangements’...relates to the future. What can be added or changed in the political declaration is to ensure some new arrangements that would solve the issue of a hard border,” Hubner said on Wednesday evening.
“Key to this is the conversation with Corbyn. Cross-party dialogue must yield some new elements for the future...The only thing we have not yet tried is a shift of the UK’s red lines,” she said of May’s talks with opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn.