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Barnier says Brexit deal prevents ‘hard’ Irish border

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Brussels: EU negotiator Michel Barnier said Wednesday that a Brexit deal would prevent the return of a hard border on Ireland by allowing the whole United Kingdom to remain within a customs union.

“We have now found a solution, along with the UK, to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland,” Barnier told reporters, adding this “backstop” would only be used if the two sides fail to reach a broader agreed within a 21-month transition.
“If we are not ready by July 2020, we could jointly decide to extend the transition to provide for more time. Only if, and the end of transition extended or not, we are still not there with the future agreement would the backstop decision agreed today kick in.”