German president: Reopening Brexit talks on backstop unlikely

BERLIN, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Germany's president said on Wednesday it was unlikely that negotiations over the so-called Irish backstop, a key point of discord between London and the European Union on Britain's exit from the bloc, would be reopened.

Speaking hours ahead of a meeting in Berlin between British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Angela Merkel, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said that all possible alternatives for the backstop had already been discussed.

Johnson is set to tell Merkel in a meeting on Wednesday that unless she agrees to change the Brexit deal, Britain will leave the European Union on Oct. 31 without a deal.

Steinmeier added that a disorderly Brexit would not only be to Britain's detriment, but would hit the EU as a whole, adding that its consequences would be more dramatic than they were currently being described.

(Reporting by Andreas Rinke, Writing by Tassilo Hummel, Editing by Michelle Martin)