Avoiding the Backstop Solution: Northern Ireland and the EU Post-Brexit

17 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2018

See all articles by Joe McMahon

Joe McMahon

School of Law, University College Dublin

Date Written: March 26, 2018

Abstract

The proposed Withdrawal Agreement between the EU and the UK has Northern Ireland remaining in the single market and the customs union after Brexit – the backstop solution. It was viewed as unacceptable by the UK Government and the Democratic Unionist Party, Northern Ireland’s largest political party who have a Confidence and Supply Agreement with the UK Conservative Party. This article examines the views of the political parties in Northern Ireland and moves on to look at those of the UK Government before examining the December 2017 Joint Report on the negotiations. That report is the basis of the backstop solution as it envisages that there will be a comprehensive agreement between the EU and the UK which would avoid the return of a hard border and in the absence of such agreement a specific solution for Northern Ireland. These options are examined with a Protocol on Trade on the island of Ireland being advanced as a specific solution for Northern Ireland that would obviate the need for the backstop solution.

Keywords: Brexit, Northern Ireland, Ireland, UK, backstop, DUP, political parties, hard border, agreement, solution, Protocol on Trade

Suggested Citation

McMahon, Joseph, Avoiding the Backstop Solution: Northern Ireland and the EU Post-Brexit (March 26, 2018). UCD Working Papers in Law, Criminology & Socio-Legal Studies Research Paper No. 0518. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3155145 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3155145

Joseph McMahon (Contact Author)

School of Law, University College Dublin ( email )

Belfield
Dublin 4
Ireland

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