Wednesday 16 January 2019

DUP leader Foster teams up with key Brexiteers Davis and Raab to propose alternative to backstop

 

DUP leader Arlene Foster. Photo: REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
DUP leader Arlene Foster. Photo: REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

DUP leader Arlene Foster has teamed up with two former Brexit secretaries to call for an overhaul of the Irish backstop.

Ms Foster, David Davis and Dominic Raab, along with British trade minister Liam Fox, have proposed a guarantee on the Border that would last 10 years.

In a joint statement, Mr Raab said the UK needed a "unilateral exit mechanism from the backstop". But he said the Irish Government could be given "assurances" that specific measures would be put in place to ensure no return to a hard Border.

The backstop, as defined by the EU and UK negotiation teams, ties Northern Ireland to the EU's regulatory system in order to allow the free movement of goods and livestock on this island. It can only be cancelled if both sides agree to a workable alternative.

On Twitter, Ms Foster wrote: "London, Dublin & Brussels have all ruled out a hard Border in any circumstance. Backstop is not needed."

Included in the document she launched with the Brexiteers is a proposal for a new protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland to replace the backstop.

The document states that "nothing in the New Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland shall imply the creation, existence or maintenance of a single customs territory between the European Union and the United Kingdom".

The protocol would be in place from the end of the transition period if no alternative arrangements are in place.

Irish Independent

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