July 10, 2019 / 12:07 PM / 2 months ago

EU Commission nominee to defend Irish backstop in Brexit

BRUSSELS, July 10 (Reuters) - The nominee for the next president of the European Commission vowed on Wednesday to defend the “backstop” provision in Britain’s withdrawal agreement from the EU to avoid extensive border controls on the island of Ireland.

Ursula von der Leyen told a hearing at the European Parliament that the backstop was “precious, important and has to be defended.”

The backstop, which requires Britain to adopt some EU rules unless a future arrangement is found to keep open the land border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, is contested by leading British politicians who want it changed or scrapped. (Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska, editing by Robin Emmott)

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