LONDON (Reuters) – Britain is open to some flexibility on the mechanism that would allow lawmakers in Northern Ireland to decide whether the British province remains in regulatory alignment with the European Union, as set out in London’s latest Brexit proposals, Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay said on Sunday.
“The key issue is the principle of consent, that’s why the backstop was rejected three times, that was the concern in terms of both sides in Northern Ireland not approving of the backstop,” Barclay told the BBC’s Andrew Marr on Sunday.
Key - Principle - Consent - Course - Mechanism
“So the key is the principle of consent, now of course in the mechanism, as part of the intensive negotiations we could look at that and discuss that.”
The 500 km (300 mile) border between Northern Ireland and European Union member Ireland, which will be the United Kingdom’s only land frontier with the bloc after it leaves, has become the biggest sticking point of Brexit negotiations.
Problem - Northern - Ireland - Door - EU
The problem is how to prevent Northern Ireland becoming a “back door” into the EU’s single market and customs union without erecting border controls that could undermine the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which ended decades of political and sectarian violence in Northern Ireland in which more than 3,600 people were killed.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he cannot accept the so-called backstop arrangement included in the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated with the EU by his predecessor Theresa May, which British lawmakers rejected three times.
Brexit - Offer - European - Union - Wednesday
He made what he called a final Brexit offer to the European Union on Wednesday which centers on replacing the backstop with a proposal for an all-island regulatory zone to cover all goods.
The proposal also says the legislative assembly in Northern Ireland — which has been suspended since 2017 — would have the right to decide every four years whether it...
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