BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday that if Brexit negotiations found a solution on the Irish border in the declaration on future ties between Britain and the European Union, the so-called backstop would effectively be overwritten.
The backstop, which is contested by leading British politicians who want it changed or scrapped, requires Britain to adopt some EU rules unless a future arrangement is found to keep open the land border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.
"The Withdrawal Agreement is the Withdrawal Agreement," Merkel told a news conference.
"But the moment that a solution for the management of the border is found in (the declaration on) the future relationship - so for the European Union's future ties to Britain - which basically squares the circle - on the one hand I have no physcial border but on the other hand the EU Single Market ends - that satisifies both questions, then the backstop will be overwritten so-to-speak."
(Reporting by Michelle Martin and Thomas Seythal; Editing by Paul Carrel)