Irish Deputy PM Trying to Force UK to Accept Brexit-In-Name-Only ‘Backstop’ Deal

Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Global Citizen

LONDON (AP) – Ireland’s deputy prime minister says the “mood music” over Brexit negotiations is improving but the sides remain far apart.

Simon Coveney told the BBC Friday there are still “serious problems” over how to handle the Irish border issue once Britain leaves the European Union.

He says British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has convinced Irish leaders he is serious about seeking a new deal but that realistic alternatives to the Irish backstop plan have not been made.

“We are still waiting for serious proposals from the British government,” he said, stressing that the current backstop plan that Johnson rejects remains the only workable plan for keeping the Irish border open.

Britain’s Brexit Secretary, Stephen Barclay, is to meet with EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier in Brussels Friday in search of progress.

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