Brexit: May and Davis ‘agree customs backstop wording’

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The UK’s proposed «backstop» delineate for trade with the EU after Brexit has been published after an «imagined» end date — of 2021 — was included in it.

It followed crunch meetings between Prime Upon Theresa May and Brexit Secretary David Davis, who insisted a cut-off boy be included.

The proposal would see the UK match EU trade tariffs temporarily in systematization to avoid a hard Irish border post-Brexit.

Brexiteers want to guarantee the backstop could not continue indefinitely.

Responding on Twitter, EU chief ambassador Michel Barnier set out the criteria on which he would judge the UK’s proposal, numbering the need for a «workable solution» to avoid a hard border in Northern Ireland.

The European Parliament’s Brexit co-ordinator Guy Verhofstadt went accessory, saying it was «difficult to see» how this could be achieved.

«A backstop that is transient is not a backstop, unless the definitive arrangement is the same as the backstop,» he added.

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The UK is due to bequeath the EU in March 2019, and the government is trying to make progress before a important meeting of EU leaders later this month.

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BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg said Mr Davis had «pushed service very hard» against the proposals on Wednesday and had two meetings with the prime man on Thursday before a deal was agreed.

After the publication, Mr Davis’s chief of rod said there had been a «helpful dialogue» and that the document had now been «elucidated and amended».

According to the document — which has yet to be agreed with the EU — the «temporary conventions arrangement», if it is needed, would be «time-limited».

A long-term «future customs set-up» will be in place «by the end of December 2021 at the latest», it says.

Another council Brexiteer Liam Fox, who also met the prime minister on Thursday, told the BBC: «As everybody identifies from the referendum, opinions and feelings run high on this issue but we’ve let someone in oned we can reach an agreement civilly and collectively.»

Who’s the real winner?

David Davis is the champion of the hour, it seems, writes BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg.

The Brexit secretary warned to quit the government if the prime minister refused to change her proposal to fix the supports conundrum — after he demanded a time limit on the «backstop», the insurance design for avoiding a hard Irish border if trade talks break down.

There is a latest in the document that is now on its way to Brussels.

Read the rest of Laura’s blog

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Brexit key trysts



What is the conventions ‘backstop’ issue?

The UK has said it will leave the EU’s customs union, which grants trade within the EU without any tariffs or many border checks.

The UK and the EU are yet to acquiesce in how trade in goods will operate after Brexit — but they comprise said that a «backstop» option is needed in case no deal is done, or the technology is not psych up in time, to avoid the return of a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

The UK has turned that the EU’s initial «backstop» proposal — effectively keeping Northern Ireland in the practices union — would create what amounted to a border between Northern Ireland and the remain of the UK and was not acceptable.

Instead, the UK is proposing a backup plan which would see the healthy of the UK temporarily aligned with the EU’s customs union after December 2020 — when the 21-month post-Brexit metamorphosis period ends.

The plan, which Theresa May has said would no more than apply in a «limited set of circumstances», would see the UK match EU tariffs in order to sidestep border checks.

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Your manual to Brexit jargon

What are Brexiteers worried about?

With the EU doubtful about the two options the UK has suggested to replace its membership of the customs union — and domination ministers yet to agree which one to pursue — the backstop is «rapidly becoming the purely option on the table», former Brexit minister David Jones told the BBC, «so it should be got right».

He said not having a firm time limit would be «pricing to the country»: «It would tie us effectively into the the EU’s customs arrangement for an imprecise period».

It would prevent the UK from having its own independent trade behaviour, he said — customs union members are not allowed to strike their own global trade deals.

It would also mean the UK was still under the authority of the European Court of Justice, which would be unacceptable to most Tory MPs, he added.

Brexiteer Iain Duncan Smith on David Davis’s angle

The view from the EU

BBC Europe editor Katya Adler

«Wow,» gushed a European newsman to me the other day, «normally we look to Italy for political drama and uncertainty but the UK is netting a pretty good show of it.»

So dizzying and confused is the news coming out of the UK concerning how the EU-UK relationship could and should work after Brexit, that EU arbiters say they are forced to stand on the sidelines while the British government talks and remonstrates with itself.

«It just can’t work,» an EU diplomat told me in exasperation this week. «Theresa May has so profuse nooses dangling around her neck that one of those nooses is stable to hang her.»

Read Katya’s blog

BBC Brussels reporter Adam Fleming says the EU will-power apply a series of tests to any proposal about customs from the UK, cataloguing how it would interact with the EU’s own customs policy, whether it would command the EU to change its rules, and what would happen when new ones were presented?

What it means for the Irish border

The UK government said its latest recommendations would deliver on a commitment, made in December, to avoid creating a unsympathetic border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, which is an EU colleague.

In response, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said it was «central» that a legally-binding backstop was found to prevent a hard border.

«Apparently, a great deal of work remains to be done and this needs to be the ripest priority for all sides in the weeks ahead.»

Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Set, whose support Theresa May relies on for a Commons majority, welcomed the project, saying the EU’s version of a backstop had been «totally unacceptable».

«We must also muse on that the backstop will only be used as a last resort,» give the word delivered the DUP’s Nigel Dodds.

«The focus must now be on getting a new trade deal.»

Sweat MP Hilary Benn, who chairs the Commons Brexit committee, said the sway’s plans would effectively keep the UK in a customs union with the EU beyond the end of 2020.

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