Ireland says Brexit transition extension can’t be alternative to Irish backstop – newspaper

Protesters participate in an anti-Brexit demonstration at City Hall in central Belfast, Northern Ireland October 20, 2018. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

DUBLIN (Reuters) – An extension to Britain’s post-Brexit transition period cannot be an alternative to the “backstop” agreement governing the Irish border, Ireland’s foreign minister was quoted as saying on Monday by the Irish Times newspaper.

“There will be no withdrawal agreement without the backstop, end of story,” Coveney was quoted by the newspaper as saying when asked about a suggestion by Brexit minister Dominic Raab on Sunday that an extension could be an alternative to the backstop.

Raab on Sunday said he would consider an extension on the condition that it would “solve the backstop issue so that falls away then as a possibility.”

Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky

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