The government needs to “get real” on Brexit and deal in “facts rather than fantasy “, Sinn Féin has said.
The party president Mary Lou McDonald accused Prime Minister Boris Johnson of” peddling a myth ” that he can get a new Brexit deal with the EU.
She was speaking after meeting Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith in Dublin on Monday.
Earlier, the European Commission said the UK had yet to offer a solution to replace the Irish border backstop.
It would require the UK to follow the EU’s customs rules – unless and until another solution is found – in order to ensure there are no
But it has proven to be a controversial policy that has been opposed by unionist parties in Northern Ireland and some pro-Brexit MPs.
Mr Johnson has described the backstop as “undemocratic” and has vowed to remove it from any withdrawal deal with the EU.
But European leaders have said they are willing to look at any alternatives the UK puts forward.
‘EU must make movement’
Ms McDonald said the backstop was “imperfect” but was the “bare minimum required to protect Irish rights and agreements”.
“The British government knows this and it is high time that they faced up to it,” she added.
Mr Smith is due to meet Tánaiste (Irish deputy prime minister) Simon Coveney and Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan in Dublin later.
Speaking during a visit to Luxembourg on Monday, Mr Johnson said the EU must make “movement” in its opposition to scrap the backstop.
The Democratic Unionist Party’s (DUP) deputy leader Nigel Dodds said it “should be clear” to the EU that Mr Johnson is “serious” about getting a new deal.
“The space is available for an agreement to be found if there is the will to do so, “he added.
Reports have suggested Mr Johnson is considering a plan to keep Northern Ireland more closely aligned to the EU after Brexit, as an alternative to the backstop.
The DUP – which supports the Conservatives in Parliament –has rejected any plan that would see Northern Ireland treated differentlyto the rest of the UK.
The prime minister’s spokesman said the government had ” put forward workable solutions in a number of areas “.
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