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Tory leadership: Rivals clash over Irish border Brexit plans

Tory leadership: Rivals clash over Irish border Brexit plans

The five remaining candidates to become the next prime minister have clashed over how to avoid a hard border in Ireland after Brexit.

The MPs running to become Conservative leader answered questions from the public in a live debate on BBC One.

All five agreed the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland should remain “free and open”.

But they offered different visions of how they would ensure this.

Four of the five have rejected the backstop, which was part of the withdrawal agreement negotiated by Prime Minister Theresa May.

The backstop is a position of last resort to maintain a seamless border on the island of Ireland in the event that the UK leaves the EU without securing an all-encompassing deal.

Only International Development Secretary Rory Stewart spoke in favour of it.