Hunt, Boris vow to bin Irish backstop plan

Boris Johnson will kill off the UK's Irish backstop plan if installed as PM. (AAP)

Both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt say they'll scrap the UK's Irish backstop Brexit plan if made prime minister.

The two contenders to be Britain's next prime minister both say they will scrap a contentious Irish border provision that has hamstrung efforts to approve a divorce agreement with the European Union.

Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson are competing to replace Prime Minister Theresa May, who is quitting after Parliament rejected her Brexit deal.

A key sticking point is a measure known as the backstop, designed to maintain an invisible border between Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland.

EU leaders say there can be no withdrawal agreement without it, but Brexit-backing UK lawmakers reject it for keeping Britain bound to the EU.

Hunt said Tuesday "we are never going to have a deal to leave the EU with the backstop", while Johnson said May's withdrawal agreement "is a dead letter."

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