"No backstop, no deal" warns Ireland's prime minister

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson used his trip to Dublin to launch an attack on the Irish government

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson used his trip to Dublin to launch an attack on the Irish government

Leo Varadkar was responding to comments from some candidates seeking to replace Theresa May as prime minister.

There are many compelling reasons for the inclusion of the backstop provision in the UK's withdrawal agreement, but a key aspect is that it is a simple and straightforward insurance which prevents any London prime minister from definitively accepting an outcome and then changing his or her mind in the face of short term pressures.

Leadership contenders, including front-runner Boris Johnson, have called for the controversial Irish clause that is created to avoid border checks between Ireland and Northern Ireland to be changed or scrapped.

Mr Varadkar said: "If we don't have that (the backstop), there is no deal".

The Irish premier told RTE's Marian Finucane programme: "It's a legal guarantee and legally operable guarantee that we will never see a hard border again".

Eurosceptic MPs have always rejected its inclusion in any Brexit deal as it could potentially keep the United Kingdom tied to the European Union if it was ever needed.

The assumption is that no British government would agree to a separate status for Northern Ireland to the rest of the UK.

Hope, Lewis power West Indies to 321/8
Earlier, Shai Hope's 96 and the joint-fastest fifty of the tournament from Shimron Hetmyer inspired an imposing total of 321-8. With both teams now locked at three points each, there's little room for complacency in the all-important fixture on Monday.

The backstop, which bedevilled Mrs May's deal, is an insurance policy created to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland by keeping the United Kingdom in a customs union.

Boris Johnson has said the Irish backstop problems could be solved by having checks away from the border.

"What people are saying is, "give up the backstop" which we know will work legally and operationally in return for something that doesn't yet exist but might exist in the future".

The former foreign secretary said it was his intention to remove the Irish backstop from the agreement, which he described as "that prison, that Hobson's choice", and implement unspecified "alternative arrangements" to keep goods flowing back and forth across the border.

Mr Johnson's lack of credibility is summed up by his regular claims that he ready to force through a no deal Brexit despite the overwhelming indications that such a move would be rejected by the House of Commons.

"That's not true. She was a good negotiator, she had a good team".

Mrs May's erstwhile Democratic Unionist Party backers are adamant they can not support any European Union withdrawal deal which includes a backstop with no time limit.

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