Liam Fox Says UK Must Be Able To Unilaterally End Brexit Backstop

Remigio Civitarese
Novembre 9, 2018

The Democratic Unionist Party said it appeared the Prime Minister was prepared to break her promise never to agree a deal which could separate Ireland from the UK.

"It is important that Britain would not undercut our own products on our own market in the all-UK Irish backstop", one source said of the European Union demand that comes as the two sides are seeking a Brexit deal as soon as this month.

East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson attacked the prime minister following the emergence of leaked letter from Mrs May to DUP leader Arlene Foster and her deputy Nigel Dodds.

However, the DUP believe the wording suggests the Prime Minister will accept a second backstop being placed in the withdrawal agreement, which will then be legally binding.

Mrs Foster told the newspaper: "The prime minister's letter raises alarm bells for those who value the integrity of our precious Union and for those who want a proper Brexit for the whole of the UK".

The EU has made concessions on the biggest hurdle in the talks - the Irish border backstop or an emergency fix to ensure the frontier there stays open regardless of how Brexit goes - but there are still differences on the life span of such a solution, a review mechanism or the depth of regulatory alliance under the all-UK backstop, which has been sought by London. "That's a decision in exceptional circumstances for the Prime Minister".

Jacob Rees-Mogg told The Times: 'None of this works at all.

It came as Mrs May embarked on a diplomatic tour of Europe as she raced to get a Brexit deal ready to present to her Cabinet as soon as Monday. She will hold meetings today with French president Emmanuel Macron and Belgian prime minister Charles Michel.

European Union chiefs yesterday suggested a Brexit deal could be finalised by the start of next week - paving the way for it to be rubber-stamped by leaders at a special summit on Sunday, November 25.

In response, Mrs May's letter claimed the EU is demanding a "backstop to the backstop", which would keep Northern Ireland tied to the customs union to prevent a hard border with the Irish Republic should the United Kingdom as a whole pull out of the initial backstop without a deal.

"The government will not agree to anything that brings about a hard border on the island of Ireland", the spokesman said.

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