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Ireland wants a relationship between the UK and EU that makes the so-called backstop unnecessary, the country's deputy prime minister has said. Writing in the Sunday Times, Simon Coveney said he looked forward to working with the new UK prime minister, who takes office on Wednesday. But he said the withdrawal agreement reached between the UK and the EU was not up for renegotiation. He also said a no-deal Brexit would "devastate" Northern Ireland's economy. The backstop, included in the withdrawal agreement negotiated by Prime Minister Theresa May and the EU, is designed as an insurance policy to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland after Brexit. But this deal was rejected three ... Full story

21 July