Feb. 5 (UPI) -- British Prime Minister Theresa May said Tuesday in Belfast that she is committed to avoiding a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland in any Brexit agreement.
In her speech Tuesday to Northern Irish business leaders, May warned against alternatives to a backstop in Great Britain's plans to leave the European Union -- a division that is set to take place in March, the Belfast Telegraph reported.
A backstop would allow Great Britain to stay in a customs union with the European Union to prevent border checks at the Northern Irish border until an alternative solution is found. Critics say it could dilute Brexit and tie Britain in a customs union with the EU indefinitely.
May suggested that she is seeking "changes" to the backstop proposal, but doesn't plan to drop it all together.
"I'm not proposing to persuade people to accept a deal that does not contain that insurance policy for the future," she said, when asked about a deal stripped of a backstop. "What Parliament has said is that they believe there should be changes made to the backstop."
Instead, May said she was committed "to delivering a Brexit that ensures no return to a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland."
May added that the seamless border was "the cornerstone around which the community in Northern Ireland has come together to deliver peace and prosperity."
British Parliament voted last week for May to return to Brussels and renegotiate Britain's planned exit from the European Union on March 29, as well as the status of the border between Ireland and North Ireland.
May is scheduled to travel to Brussels on Thursday to meet with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council president Donald Tusk since lawmakers rejected the deal they reached last November.
She aims to negotiate changes that could convince lawmakers to support the Brexit deal in votes on Feb. 14.