Withdrawal Agreement Backstop Explained

After the vote, Michel Barnier said the backstop was “an integral part” of the UK`s Brexit withdrawal agreement and would not be renegotiated. [65] This triggered Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, which defines the procedure for the withdrawal of a Member State from the Union and allows for a two-year countdown to withdrawal. The plenary council was then published, showing that the terms of the backstop could mean that the UK could face “long and repeated rounds of negotiations”. [68] Further recommendations were published in March 2019 that the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties could be used if the backstop was shown to have a “socially destabilizing effect on Northern Ireland.” [69] At the start of the Brexit negotiations, the UK and the EU pledged to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic. The UK agreed that if no alternative solution could be found, it would be brought into line with EU Single Market and Customs Union rules in order to keep the border open and free of infrastructure. This commitment has been dubbed a “safety net”. It became the most controversial issue in the Brexit negotiations and led to Theresa May`s deal being rejected three times by the House of Commons. Ultimately, the backstop became the “front stop” of Boris Johnson`s withdrawal agreement, with Northern Ireland still having to follow the rules of the EU`s single market and customs union, while the rest of the UK could diverge. This avoided a hard border, but meant that goods had to be controlled between Britain and Northern Ireland. It is unclear what will happen next, but these events confirm that what applies to the Brexit negotiations will prove to be true for possible negotiations on exiting the backstop – political and non-legal remedies are the only ones that will allow the UK and the EU to build a new relationship. There is another way forward: the party that wants to end the backstop can ask the independent arbitration panel established by the agreement to review the joint committee`s decision.

However, the Government`s legal position on the Withdrawal Agreement makes it clear that the panel would not examine evidence submitted by one party, but whether that evidence was examined by the other party in “good faith”. On the 10. In October 2019, Johnson and Leo Varadkar had “very positive and very promising” discussions that led to a resumption of negotiations[81], and a week later, Johnson and Jean-Claude Juncker announced that they had agreed (subject to ratification) on a new withdrawal agreement that would replace the backstop with a new protocol on Northern Ireland/Republic of Ireland. [82] The Irish government and Northern Irish nationalists (who advocated a united Ireland) supported the protocol, while unionists (who favoured the existing United Kingdom) opposed it. In early 2019, the Westminster Parliament voted three times against ratifying the Withdrawal Agreement, also rejecting the backstop. This article has been updated to cover the latest political developments regarding the backstop. Articles 2 and 20 provide ways to limit the safety net. . . .