Brexit Backstop Must Remain, German Business Leader Demands

(Bloomberg) --

The Irish backstop must be retained without a time limit if the Brexit withdrawal agreement is to be acceptable, the head of Germany’s main business group said.

“We need the backstop, and we reject any sort of expiry date,” Joachim Lang, director general of the Federation of German Industries, said in Dublin on Friday. The organization “fully supports the political declaration and the negotiated withdrawal agreement including the backstop.”

Lang’s intervention dashes Brexit advocates’ hopes that German industry would demand the backstop be dropped to allow a deal providing easy access to the U.K. market. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants the backstop, designed to keep the Irish border invisible after Brexit, to be stripped from the U.K.’s divorce deal with the European Union.

“Despite all noise, all time pressure, and all the immense challenges for businesses: our stance has been undisputed in our membership,” Lang said.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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