1/14, 12:22 PM (Source: TeleTrader)
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EU promises to 'work speedily' to avoid Irish backstop

In a letter sent to the United Kingdom's Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday, presidents of the European Council and European Commission, Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker promised to "work speedily on a subsequent agreement by 31 December 2020" in order to ensure that the contentious Irish backstop clause is never triggered. Even if the backstop were to be activated, it would be of a temporary nature, "unless and until it is superseded by a subsequent agreement that ensures that a hard border is avoided."

However, the two officials stated that they are not in a position to do anything that would change the withdrawal agreement ahead of tomorrow's crucial vote in the British Parliament. The Commission also expressed readiness to extend the transition period if a future relationship agreement is not ready by the end of 2020, when the first transition period expires. The letter also confirmed that that the Brexit deal would not affect the 1998 Good Friday Agreement nor the cooperation between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Breaking the News / FH