04/02/2019 – May Optimistic Over Irish Backstop


Theresa May has renewed hope that she can deliver Brexit on time and solve the on-going Irish backstop issue. May has said that she is ‘determined’ to deliver Brexit adding she will return to Brussels with a ‘fresh mandate, new ideas and a renewed determination’. Furthermore May believes that seeking ‘alternative arrangements’ for the backstop issue does not ‘rip up the good Friday agreement’.

As MPs voted for ‘alternative arrangements’ to be made over the Irish backstop, the Irish deputy prime minster has said ‘there are no credible arrangements’ regarding the backstop. The EU have not changed there stance on the backstop issue also. International trade secretary Liam Fox has told reports that it is ‘irresponsible’ for the EU and Irish republic to not discuss the backstop problem in the withdrawal agreement. He went onto say “For the Irish it’s even more important than for most to talk to us for alternative ways of achieving a no hard border.” He also went onto say that the EU are not in a position to let the U.K. leave without a deal as it would damage the EU’s economy.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid believes ‘alternative arrangements’ regarding the Irish backstop problem can be achieved by using ‘existing technology’ and believes the EU need to compromise and show a bit of ‘good will’ regarding the backstop problem.

Lastly, Deputy Irish Prime Minister Simon Coveney said on Sunday “The EU will not renegotiate the withdrawal agreement and there will be no withdrawal agreement without the backstop”. Mr Coveney said the backstop was required to “ensure the protection of the Good Friday Agreement”. Furthermore he went onto say no alternatives have been put forward “that achieve the shared goal of the UK and EU to avoid a hard border”, and the backstop was a “necessary guarantee”.

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