FILE PHOTO: British and EU flags flutter outside the Houses of Parliament during a pro-Brexit and anti-Brexit demonstration, ahead of a vote on Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal, in London, Britain, January 15, 2019. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh
LONDON (Reuters) – A no-deal Brexit could be “extremely difficult” in the short to medium term, a junior finance minister in Prime Minister Theresa May’s government said, adding that there would ostensibly have to be a hard border on the island of Ireland.
“In the short-to-medium term, I think it could be extremely difficult,” Mel Stride was quoted as saying in an article published on Friday in parliament’s The House magazine.
The Irish backstop, a provision to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, remains the main sticking point preventing May from securing support for her deal.
“We would ostensibly have to have a hard border there,” Stride said of a no-deal scenario. “We are not going to impose a hard border, but the EU will presumably be insisting that the Irish government goes in that direction otherwise they damage the integrity of the single market.”
Reporting by Costas Pitas