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As reported by Reuters, Ireland is stepping up its involvement in the back-and-forth standstill between the EU and the UK as Brexit negotiations continue to go in circles over what to do about Ireland’s southern border following Brexit.

Key highlights

(Irish) Prime Minister Leo Varadkar: Ireland is willing to examine ways in which a “backstop” to keep the Irish border open after Brexit could be reviewed so long as it does not permit Britain to unilaterally walk away from it.

The sides in the negotiations on the terms of Britain’s exit from the European Union have signaled progress on agreeing customs arrangements for an emergency Irish border fix but differences persist on the lifespan of the so-called “backstop”.

British Prime Minister Theresa May raised the possibility of a review mechanism for the backstop in a phone call on Monday with Varadkar that she had sought to update him on the current state of the talks, the Irish government said in a statement.

May told Varadkar that there would need to be a mechanism through which the backstop could be brought to an end, a spokesman from her office said in a statement.

The phone call followed a report by Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper that May’s Brexit Minister Dominic Raab had privately demanded the right to pull Britain out of the backstop after three months.

Varadkar separately told reporters that an expiry date of that nature would not be worth the paper it is written on.

With just five months until Britain is due to leave the EU, May has yet to nail down a divorce deal, with the insurance arrangement to keep open the border between British-ruled Northern Ireland and EU member state Ireland still the outstanding issue.