While meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier for Brexit reiterated the EU’s position that the Withdrawal Agreement with the UK cannot be reopened and that addressing the question about the future of the Irish border remains the only outstanding question that needs to be immediately addressed, saying that “the EU is ready to work on alternative solutions during the transition.”
“The Withdrawal Agreement remains the only way to ensure an orderly withdrawal of the UK from the European Union. We continue to urge the UK Government to clarify its intentions with respect to its next steps,” tweeted Rutte from his official account.
Barnier’s deputy negotiator, Sabine Weyand, who was also present at the meeting retweeted a BBC Reality Check article which explained that no technological solution would be available in the next few years.
According to the Withdrawal Agreement concerning the border between EU-member Ireland and Northern Ireland, known commonly as ‘the Irish backstop”, Northern Ireland will remain within the European Union’s regulatory and customs arrangements indefinitely to prevent the emergence of a hard border that could severely complicate the freedom on movement on the island and could re-ignite the sectarian conflict between Catholics and Protestants in the north.