#Brexit – Coveney says Polish foreign minister’s proposal on Irish backstop does not reflect EU thinking

| January 22, 2019

Simon Coveney, Irish Tánaiste, reacted to the suggestion put forward by Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz that a time limit be placed on the backstop concerning the Irish border. The backstop is one of the issues that British MPs have identified as a barrier to adopting the Withdrawal Agreement in the UK.

Coveney said the idea of a five-year time limit had been raised by the same minister in December 2017, but said then that the backstop was an insurance mechanism and if a limit were placed on it, it would no longer be a backstop. He said that Czaputowicz’s suggestion did not reflect EU thinking as expressed by the European Commission, European Council and the Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier; saying that the EU was not going to reopen negotiations, but the way to solve any issues around the backstop would be through the discussions on the future relationship.

The Irish deputy prime minister said he understood the ministers concerns given the large population of Poles living in the UK (according to the UK’s Office for National Statistics Polish has been the most common non-British nationality in the UK since 2007). It is estimated that there are one million Polish nationals residing in the UK. Ireland has also welcomed many Poles with Polish national making up around 2.57% or Ireland’s population.

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Category: A Frontpage, Economy, EU, EU, European Commission, European Parliament, Ireland, Poland, Politics, UK

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