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1/9, 4:42 PM (Source: TeleTrader)
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Barclay: Govt will accept six backstop concessions

The United Kingdom's Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay announced on Wednesday that the UK government will accept an amendment to the Brexit motion tabled by Tory MP Hugo Swire, which includes six concessions regarding the contentious Irish backstop arrangement.

Most importantly, the amendment says that the Parliament will only accept a withdrawal agreement subject to "the government obtaining further assurance from the European Union that the Northern Ireland backstop would only be a temporary arrangement." Additionally, if the backstop ever gets activated, "both parties intend to agree a future relationship or alternative arrangements consistent with the political declaration one year after the end of the implementation period." Parliament will also have the final say on any decision to implement the backstop, including the one where they decide whether to use it in the first place or extend the transition period instead.

Meanwhile, the government would have "a duty to have an agreed future relationship or alternative arrangements one year after the Northern Ireland backstop coming into force ... so that the Northern Ireland backstop ceases to apply." Also, the government will have a duty to file a report in March 2020, in which it will explain what has been done so far to avoid the backstop. In addition to all of this, London will have to consult the devolved administrations, particularly the Northern Ireland executive and assembly.

Breaking the News / FH