Reportedly, Theresa May, the British Prime Minister, is ready to agree on a backstop deal for the border between the United Kingdom and Ireland which does not have a time limit.
Last Friday, Bloomberg reported that Prime Minister May is now willing to make the move to help in speeding up the Brexit discussions.
The issue of the Irish border has been a difficult one with Michel Barnier, the chief negotiator of the European Union, citing it in interviews as a possible impediment to closing the deal.
A week ago, Dominic Raab, the Brexit secretary of the United Kingdom, said that any backstop deal for the border must be time-limited.
However, quoting an unnamed source, Bloomberg reported that PM May, together with her team now accepts that the backstop arrangement must be open ended for an “enduring” solution.
This comes after senior officials of the United Kingdom have stressed two days ago that Theresa May continues to believe that the proposal of the European Union for avoiding a hard border in Ireland is unacceptable after a plan to consider an extension to the post-Brexit transition period raised concerns that she was about to sign up to a Northern Ireland-only backstop.
Last on Wednesday evening, PM May informed her fellow leaders that she was open to extending the transition period – a proposal that was mooted during intensive discussions over the Irish backstop issue, which broke down without agreement last weekend.
The European Union has presented a proposal that Northern Ireland in effect will stay in the customs union and single market after December 2020, at the end of the transition period, should there be no deal established that would avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland.
Any open-ended deal will possibly spark opposition on the Brexit wing of the Tory party, many of whom are concerned that open-ended arrangements could, in time, become permanent.
The office of Prime Minister May refused to issue a comment on the matter.