BELFAST/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Theresa May tried to break the deadlock over Brexit on Wednesday by thrashing out alternative proposals for the Irish border with political parties in Northern Ireland.
The United Kingdom is on course to leave the European Union on March 29 without a deal unless May can convince the bloc to reopen the divorce deal she agreed in November and then sell it to sceptical British lawmakers.
As companies and governments across Europe step up preparations for the turmoil of a no-deal exit, diplomats and officials said the United Kingdom now faces three main options: a no-deal exit, a last-minute deal or a delay to Brexit.
At meetings in Belfast, May tried to tackle the biggest obstacle to getting a deal ratified by the British parliament – an insurance policy covering the possible future arrangements for the border between EU-member Ireland and the British province of Northern Ireland.
“We will find a way to deliver Brexit that honours our commitments to Northern Ireland,” May said on Tuesday.
May said she would seek an alternative arrangement which avoids the need for a hard border or legally binding changes to the border backstop to introduce a time limit or create an exit mechanism.