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UK's Hammond says EU will not consider alternatives to backstop for now

Feb 19 - British Finance Minister Philip Hammond said on Tuesday it was clear the European Union will not now consider alternatives to the contentious Irish backstop to help the UK government win support for its Brexit withdrawal deal, but such options could be valuable in future.
"The so-called 'Malthouse' initiative to explore possible alternative arrangements to the backstop is a valuable effort in that direction," he said at a dinner in London to an association of manufacturers, but added, "it is clear that the EU will not consider replacing the backstop with such an alternative arrangement now in order to address our immediate challenge."
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