UK PM contenders say EU will drop Irish backstop for Brexit deal

The two candidates vying to become Britain's next prime minister both said on Friday they believe the EU will agree a Brexit deal this year without the controversial backstop provision for the Irish border.

Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, the favorite over Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt to replace outgoing PM Theresa May, predicted the EU would instead negotiate the issue during post-Brexit free trade talks. Johnson told the BBC that the two sides will get a deal by the end of October, the latest delayed deadline for Britain's departure from the bloc.

Johnson's rival Hunt said that he had received encouragement from European leaders that they would be willing to abandon the backstop to strike a new deal. However, Hunt refused to commit to Britain's departure from the EU by the end of the year, saying only that he expects the UK will have left by then. He added that a Prime Minister should only make promises he knows he can deliver.

Source: VOV5