EU floats new compromise to keep Irish border soft

European Union negotiators have floated a tentative Brexit plan to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland and to give Britain stronger guarantees that a customs border would not be needed along the Irish Sea, the FT wrote. Last month, EU negotiators offered to include a plan in the withdrawal agreement to keep mainland Britain in a customs union after Brexit in order to avoid a hard border.

The deal offered was bending EU “red lines”, which have included refusing to give assurances on future EU-UK trade relations in the Brexit treaty. The FT said EU Brexit negotiators were now considering a new proposal to compromise on an Irish “backstop” which would be an insurance policy to ensure there will be no return of customs checks on the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland if a future trading relationship is not in place in time. The biggest obstacle to a Brexit deal has been Britain's wish to keep the border of its province of Northern Ireland with Ireland open, preserving frictionless trade and a 1998 peace deal.

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