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Backstop must be part of Brexit deal, EU parliament head says

Backstop must be part of Brexit deal, EU parliament head says

The new head of the European Parliament on Thursday ruled out any Brexit deal without an Irish backstop. “We want an agreement but we are aware that an agreement without a backstop wouldn’t work,” David Sassoli said. “There can’t be an agreement without a backstop. There won’t be one.”

“The United Kingdom hasn’t provided any alternatives… anything that has been workable,” said Sassoli, who hails from Italy’s center-left Democratic Party.

Any departure without a deal would only ever be Britain’s choice, Sassoli said, adding that the bloc was ready to analyze any concrete proposals from London on replacing the backstop.

“We are willing to go back to the original EU proposal which is that a backstop will only be added for Northern Ireland,” the parliament’s chief added.