Will defend Brexit’s Irish backstop: Ursula von der Leyen

The stance taken by Ursula von der Leyen, a nominee for the next president of the European Commission, is likely to increase the chances of a hard Brexit.

Ursula von der Leyen, the nominee for the next president of the European Commission, told a hearing that she would defend the “backstop” provision in Britain’s withdrawal agreement from the EU in order to avoid extensive border controls on the island of Ireland.

The backstop was “precious, important and has to be defended,” said Ursula von der Leyen at a hearing at the European Parliament.

The backstop requires Britain to adopt some EU rules unless a future arrangement is found to keep open the land border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, is contested by leading British politicians who want it changed or scrapped.

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