PHOTO FEATURE: Irish Prime Minister (Taoiseach) and Defense Minister Leo Varadkar attend a press conference after the EU leaders' summit in Brussels, Belgium, on December 14, 2018. REUTERS / Piroschka Van De Wouw

DUBLIN (Reuters) – The Irish prime minister has pledged to defend the controversial "backstop" of Brexit, while recalling that it was important to recall that the insurance mechanism was a means of 39, avoid the return of a difficult customs border on the island of Ireland.

The Brexit divorce deal was defeated by UK lawmakers on Tuesday as much of the opposition focused on the "security" obligation for the British province of Northern Ireland to remain closely aligned with the rules. from the EU in order to eliminate the need for border controls with Ireland, an EU member.

The Irish government has teamed up with the executive of the European Union to insist that the divorce agreement with the bloc was not open to renegotiation and has urged London to propose acceptable solutions for both parties, as well as for the European Union.

EU officials have said that if Britain, for example, gives up its refusal to remain permanently in a customs union with the EU, the bloc would be willing to negotiate that, which could lessen the difficulties around the Irish border.

EU chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, told Britain on Wednesday that he could have another type of agreement on Brexit – but only if London amended its main demands.

"The only way to avoid a difficult border between Northern Ireland and Ireland is to reach an agreement on customs, a common customs territory or a customs union and a regulatory alignment between Ireland and Ireland. 39 Northern Ireland and Ireland or the whole of the UK and the EU, "Varadkar told Parliament.

"That's what we negotiated in the withdrawal agreement and the backstop … Absolutely, I'm going to defend the backstop, but the backstop is here to help us reach a goal. the backdrop is a legal guarantee that mechanisms will be put in place to prevent the hardening of the border, which is the result we must achieve. "

Reportage of Padraic Halpin; Edited by Toby Chopra