An 'Implementation Protocol' to Unblock the Brexit Process: A Proposal for a Legal Bridge between a Revised Political Declaration and the Withdrawal Agreement
14 Pages Posted: 19 Feb 2019
Date Written: February 19, 2019
Following the failure of the UK Government to secure parliamentary approval for the texts of its Brexit deal with the European Union, attention is now focusing on how to break the political impasse that could result in a “No Deal” Brexit. The Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay and the Attorney General Geoffrey Cox QC return to Brussels this week to try and find a compromise with the EU.
Today, Professor Kenneth Armstrong proposes an “Implementation Protocol” to unblock the Brexit process.
The Protocol would be an integral part of the Withdrawal Agreement and would act as a legal bridge between the legal text of the Agreement and the Political Declaration on the future relationship between the Union and the UK.
Its aim would be to implement key commitments made in these texts to use “best endeavours” to expedite negotiations on subsequent agreements including agreements that would either prevent the Irish backstop being triggered or would replace the backstop.
Significantly the proposal also demands that through the Joint Committee, the EU and UK rapidly agree an objective “assessment framework” to implement the review mechanism that would bring the Irish backstop to an end were it ever to be deployed.
The proposal makes provision for the proper engagement of parliamentary institutions to ensure democratic oversight and scrutiny of future negotiations and to de-risk the potential of parliamentary approval being withheld on a future deal.
The proposal would not restrict initiatives to amend the Political Declaration, but it does assume that the legal text of the Withdrawal Agreement will remain as it is. Nor would the proposal prevent both sides agreeing something more ambitious. But in less that 6 pages and in 4 articles, Professor Armstrong sets out a concrete proposal, including indicative text of the Protocol, as a basis for serious discussion.
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