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    A Motorist crosses the Irish border in Middletown, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, March, 12, 2019. The issue of a possible physical border between the United Kingdom's Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, an EU state, received scant attention during the 2016 Brexit referendum. But it has proven to be a major stumbling block in the British government's quest for a divorce deal.

    UK Brexit Minister Says Irish Backstop Risks Weaken Good Friday Agreement

    © AP Photo / Peter Morrison
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    Earlier on Tuesday, media reports emerged, claiming that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was going to reveal the details of his final Brexit plan to EU leaders within 24 hours, including an option to manage the Irish border issue after the country quits the EU.

    Risks related to the Irish backstop issue are weakening the Good Friday Agreement, UK Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay said. 

    Earlier in the day, reports emerged saying that Prime Minister Boris Johnson would reveal some details of his final Brexit plan to EU leaders within 24 hours. Among other things, the plan reportedly offers an alternative to the Irish backstop, an all-Ireland "economic zone" that would allow agricultural and food products to move around Ireland without border checks. 

    Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during an Emergency Declaration for Nature and People event after the 2019 United Nations Climate Action Summit at the U.N. headquarters in New York City, New York, U.S., September 23, 2019
    © REUTERS / SHANNON STAPLETON
    Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during an Emergency Declaration for Nature and People event after the 2019 United Nations Climate Action Summit at the U.N. headquarters in New York City, New York, U.S., September 23, 2019

    The Irish backstop is a mechanism that would prevent the reintroduction of a hard border on the island of Ireland after Brexit. In case the backstop comes into force, Northern Ireland will remain a member of the single market, meaning goods crossing the Irish border won't be subject to checks for customs standards. The backstop issue has remained a stumbling block in negotiations between London and Brussels with both sides failing to agree to what extent Northern Ireland should be excluded from the EU single market and customs union after Brexit. 

    The Belfast Agreement, also known as the Good Friday Agreement, is a peace agreement signed in 1998 between the British and Irish governments, and most of the political parties in Northern Ireland, on how Northern Ireland should be governed.

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    backstop solution, Brexit, Ireland, United Kingdom
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