BREXIT NI BACKSTOP UK PM May tries to reassure NI business leaders over Brexit


British Prime Minister Theresa May held roundtable talks with business leaders in Belfast, as she aimed to reassure Northern Ireland that she can deliver an orderly Brexit and prevent the return of a hard border with the Republic of Ireland.

Since British lawmakers voted down the withdrawal agreement last month, parliament has instructed May to replace its most contentious element – an insurance policy covering the possible future arrangements for the border between European Union (EU)-member Ireland and the British province of Northern Ireland.

The United Kingdom is due to leave the EU in 52 days, yet London and Brussels are arguing over whether the deal clinched in November can be changed, raising the possibility of a delay to Brexit, a last-minute deal or a no-deal exit.

May is due to travel to Brussels on Thursday to tell European Union leaders they must accept legally binding changes to the Irish border arrangements of Britain’s Withdrawal Deal or face the prospect of a disorderly no-deal Brexit.