July 21, 2019
LONDON (Reuters) – The European Union would be willing to change parts of the political declaration, or agreement on a future relationship with Britain, when the new British prime minister is elected, Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney said on Sunday.
Repeating a warning to the new prime minister, likely to be former London mayor Boris Johnson, that the bloc will not reopen the divorce deal, or Withdrawal Agreement, Coveney said there would be an opportunity to get rid of the so-called Northern Irish backstop through the future relationship.
“If a new British prime minister decides they want to change the future relationship ambition between the UK and the EU, then certainly we hope that the backstop that many in the UK don’t seem to like can be avoided,” he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.
“We are simply not going to move away from that withdrawal agreement.”
(Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; editing by Jason Neely)