Avoiding the Backstop Solution: Northern Ireland and the EU Post-Brexit
17 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2018
Date Written: March 26, 2018
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: Suggested Citation