LONDON, Aug 19 (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote to European Council President Donald Tusk on Monday to propose replacing the Irish backstop with a commitment to put in place alternative arrangements by the end of a post-Brexit transition period.
In the letter, published by his office, Johnson repeated his calls for the backstop, an insurance policy to avoid the return of a hard border in Ireland, to be removed from the deal the EU reached with his predecessor Theresa May.
“The UK and the EU have already agreed that ‘alternative arrangements’ can be part of the solution. Accordingly: I propose that the backstop should be replaced with a commitment to put in place such arrangements as far as possible before the end of the transition period, as part of the future relationship,” he wrote.
Johnson added that Britain was ready to look “constructively and flexibly” at what commitments could help provide confidence about what would happen if such arrangements were not fully in place at the end of that period. (Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Hugh Lawson)