August 20, 2019 / 2:27 PM / in 2 months

CORRECTED-Merkel: Irish border solution possible, but not by reopening Withdrawal Agreement

(Corrects quote in second paragraph, removing word in parenthesis)

REYKJAVIK, Aug 20 (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday the EU would think about practical solutions regarding the post-Brexit border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, but not by revisiting the Withdrawal Agreement.

“The moment we have a practical arrangement on how to preserve the Good Friday agreement and at the same time define the borders of the (European Union’s) internal market, we would not need the backstop anymore,” Merkel told a news conference during a visit to Iceland.

“This means we would naturally think about practical solutions. And I’ve always said that when one has the will to find these solutions, one can do so in a short period of time. The EU is ready to find a solution.”

She said this would not require the Withdrawal Agreement to be re-opened and was instead a question of the so-called political declaration on future ties. (Reporting by Reuters Television Writing by Michelle Martin and Joseph Nasr; editing by John Stonestreet)

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