Britain’s Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union Dominic Raab arrives at 10 Downing Street in London, Britain, October 24, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
(Reuters) – British Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab has privately demanded the right to pull Britain out of a “backstop” arrangement for the Irish border after three months, the Telegraph reported on Sunday.
The newspaper said Raab made the pitch to Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney in a private meeting in London last Tuesday.
The European Union and Ireland want guarantees there will be no physical structures delimiting the land border between the Irish republic and the British province of Northern Ireland after Britain leaves the EU, if negotiations fail to regulate the issue.
Raab’s plan would give UK the right to ask for a “review mechanism” within three or six months of the so-called backstop taking effect, to allow it to continue only by mutual consent, the Financial Times reported early on Monday.
Raab has written to Prime Minister Theresa May to urge her to back his plan, the FT said, quoting a person briefed on the matter.
The Telegraph said the proposal was “apparently contradicted” by Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington on a visit to Dublin. Raab’s department said it did not comment on private meetings.
Reporting by Ishita Chigilli Palli in Bengaluru; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Sonya Hepinstall