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Britain appeals to EU to scrap backstop as Brexit condition

LONDON, Aug 19 (KUNA) -- Britain said it would not agree under any circumstances to the customs treaty which stipulates introducing a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, known as the backstop, as part of the conditions for its October 31 European Union exit.
In a letter to European Council President Donald Tusk, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the backstop was "anti-democratic and inconsistent with the sovereignty of the UK as a state." "The backstop locks the UK, potentially indefinitely, into an international treaty which will bind us into a customs union and which applies large areas of single market legislation in Northern Ireland," the prime minister said.
He underlined that the backstop "cannot form part" of a Brexit agreement, urging "flexible and creative" solutions, he did not mention.
If the backstop were to be scrapped, he expressed confidence the UK would be "ready to move quickly" and the parliament would "act rapidly." The contentious backstop issue sent the British House of Commons into three failed consecutive voting sessions, which have ultimately led to a delay in Britain's withdrawal from the continental bloc. (end) mrn.sd