What Was The Backstop Agreement

Negotiations between civil servants resulted in a draft agreement that was to be finalised at a meeting between Jean-Claude Juncker and Theresa May on 4 December 2017 in Brussels. There has been progress in financial settlement and civil rights, but the meeting was interrupted after the Northern Ireland Democratic Unionist Party opposed agreements for the Irish border. [23] In 1922, the newly formed United Kingdom and the Land of Bavaria entered into an Agreement on the Common Travel Area (CTA). This gave British and Irish citizens the right to travel, live and work in both jurisdictions. Passport controls are not used to travel between them. The free movement provisions resulting from EU membership replaced them to some extent, but the parties kept their bilateral agreement alive when it did not have treaty status. In 2011, the British and Irish governments informally agreed to continue their joint controls upon entry of non-EEA nationals into the CTA. [50] The «backstop» plan was agreed by negotiators between Britain and the EU and was part of Theresa May`s withdrawal deal in November 2018 (often referred to as the Brexit «divorce deal»). Following the DUP`s objections, Mrs May agreed on a backstop in which the whole of the UK would indefinitely maintain a very close relationship with the EU, namely the maintenance of the customs union. In other words, the UK could not withdraw from the Irish backstop if the EU felt that any alternative solution would not work. In July 2019, Theresa May resigned and Boris Johnson became Prime Minister, with Boris Johnson saying he wanted to replace the Irish backstop as part of the withdrawal deal. [76] On 19 August, in a letter to the President of the European Council, the Prime Minister declared that the agreement was «undemocratic and incompatible with the sovereignty of the United Kingdom».

[77] He stressed that this was «not compatible with the UK`s desired end goal» for its relations with the EU. Its third reason for the unsurability of the backstop is that it «weakens» the Good Friday Agreement and the peace process in Northern Ireland. Tusk said opponents of the deal, without «realistic alternatives,» supported the re-establishment of a hard border on the island of Ireland. That`s the reality, «even if they don`t admit it,» he added. «The backstop is an insurance to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland, unless an alternative is found,» Tusk tweeted. [78] The Irish Government considered that «the real objective of the backstop was to maintain the status quo by guaranteeing freedom of movement and not a hard border on the island of Ireland; which is of paramount importance to the GFA. The reality is that Brexit is a threat to the GFA. [79] The question now is whether the British government will be able to find an alternative to backstop within this tight time frame – only time will tell. Under the draft withdrawal agreement, the UK would enter a «transition period» after Brexit (currently 31 October 2019). The withdrawal agreement stipulates that the UK and the EU could get rid of the backstop requirements, but only if the UK and the EU agree that there is no need to avoid a hard border in Ireland.

Brexit has so far been nothing less than a soap opera, with Britain`s third prime minister since the referendum now leading the UK through a rather chaotic 27-member exit from the EU. Many versions of a formal withdrawal agreement have been put to a vote, but excluded from the issue of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. It also resulted in remarkably comical scenes in the House of Commons, where spokesman John Bercow had to scold MPs to contain them during debates.

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