U.K. Says Work Still Needed on EU Brexit Backstop Reassurances

(Bloomberg) -- The U.K. needs to do more to get the reassurances it requires from the European Union on Brexit, Prime Minister Theresa May’s office said, three weeks after the premier deferred a crucial Parliamentary vote on the agreement she’s reached with the bloc.

May “has been in contact with European counterparts over the break and you can expect more of that to continue this week,” her spokeswoman, Alison Donnelly, told reporters in London on Monday. “There is still work to do and talks will continue.” She gave no further details of who May has spoken with.

The premier is seeking assurances from the EU on the so-called backstop arrangement for the post-Brexit Irish border. It’s a fallback arrangement to ensure the border stays open even if the EU and U.K. can’t devise a future trade deal. But opponents in May’s Conservative Party and her allies in Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party say it risks leaving the country permanently tethered to EU rules, while adding friction to trade between Northern Ireland and mainland Britain.

May on Dec. 10 pulled the vote, acknowledging that her deal didn’t have the support it needs to be approved in the House of Commons. She’s pledged to hold it in the third week of January and she aims to get the reassurances she needs beforehand, Donnelly said.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.