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UK seeks postponement of backstop discussion until December 2020
The UK has again demanded that talks on guaranteeing a soft Northern Ireland border be postponed until the end of the withdrawal transition period.

Attacking the EU for its lack of flexibility in the Border discussions, Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay elaborated the case against the backstop while not suggesting any alternative.

He insisted that that "the alternative to the backstop is not necessary until the end of the implementation period in December 2020 . . . why risk crystallising an undesirable result this November, when both sides can work together - until December 2020?"

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Mr Barclay said there were four reasons [why the backstop has to go]: "Northern Ireland . . . would be governed by rules in which they have no say"; "It is inconsistent with the Belfast Agreement because the backstop has failed to achieve the consent of both communities"; "The backstop risks being permanent - even though article 50 legally requires it to be temporary"; and "the EU would control whether we can leave the backstop, making it harder to leave the backstop than leaving the EU itself."

Mr Barclay said the UK believes that the backstop can be replaced, though without requiring continued membership of either the customs union or the single market.

He warned that the UK would not be alone to suffer in the event of a no deal.

"For example if I take Ireland, two-thirds of Irish medicines come through Great Britain, 40 per cent of its exports go through Dover. Its supermarkets are supplied from distribution centres in the Midlands.

"Yet this is presented as solely a UK challenge - it is a mutual challenge, because if indeed there were 2½ days of delays at Calais, then the impact of that would not solely be felt within the UK, it would be felt in Ireland and indeed in businesses here in Spain. "

Oh dear. Here we go again. Let me spell it out:

  1. The backstop has already been agreed between the EU and UK governments. So who is it who is now showing "inflexibility"?

  2. The backstop issue has to be resolved now because the threat of a hard border has already caused huge instability in N. Ireland which needs to be resolved now

  3.  The EU does not wish to give the UK the leverage that avoiding a hard border would give it in future trade talks - i.e. full access to the Customs Union and Single Market without the costs of EU membership, adherence to the four Freedoms, and requirement to participate in and comply with EU negotiated trade deals.

  4. Northern Ireland is already governed by many rules in which it has no say, but in this case implementation of Customs Union and Single Market rules can be subject to consultations via the institutions established under the Good Friday Agreement.

  5. ALL of Brexit is inconsistent with the Good Friday Agreement as NONE of it has achieved the consent of both communities and yes, the Good Friday agreement is not time limited - you are stuck with it until you negotiate something better with the agreement of Ireland and the EU.

  6. And yes we know (yawn) that a no deal Brexit will effect Ireland and Irish imports and exports badly as well, and that is precisely what the backstop is designed to avoid. As the Taoiseach said, for Ireland, no Backstop IS no deal.

Either Mr. Barclay is exceedingly dim and has understood nothing of what has transpired in the last year, or he is just trolling us, which is generally not a good idea if you actually want to get a deal.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Sep 19th, 2019 at 02:21:51 PM EST

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