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

Lester Mason
November 10, 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.

Yesterday the Prime Minister's inner circle were invited to review parts of the draft text which have already been agreed with Brussels and reports suggest European Union leaders will meet at the end of November for an emergency Brexit summit.

But Brexiteers want the British government to have the power to unilaterally end it.

"So while of course we want progress to be made and we want it to be made as quickly as possible because time is moving on, I would urge caution that people don't get carried away on the back of rumour in the coming days".

Any version of the backstop would apply unless and until a wider UK-EU deal on the future relationship solved the issue of how to avoid a hard border with Ireland. The slow pace of Brexit talks and the standoff between the EU and Italy over the budget plans of the populist government in Rome are reminders of the kinds of upheavals that might occur if disenchanted European voters look to the right or far-right for answers.

Brexiteer MPs, including Environment Secretary Michael Gove, have called on Mrs May to release full legal advice setting out how the arrangement could be ended to avoid it becoming a permanent settlement.

Tory Remainer Dominic Grieve said a border in the Irish Sea would be "unacceptable".

British prime minister Theresa May has invited ministers to review the text of a withdrawal agreement.

The concerns focus on Attorney General Geoffrey Cox's advice on how an exit from the backstop could be found to make sure the United Kingdom is not permanently kept within a customs union, which would severely curtail its ability to strike global free trade deals - a key prize for Brexiteers.

The European Union's chief Brexit negotiator told political allies Thursday to beware the rise of populist nationalism in Europe, warning of a "Farage in every country".

"Seven days is probably pushing it, but I am optimistic that there will be a Brexit deal", Hunt said, adding it is "very, very hard to resolve but I am confident that we can".

Later, addressing leaders of the European People's Party group, Barnier warned of the threat that rising nationalism and populism pose to the EU ahead of European Parliament elections in May.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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