EU letter seeks to reassure UK on Irish border backstop
EU leaders have written to Theresa Could to reassure British MPs that a so-called backstop association to keep away from a tough Irish border after Brexit will solely be in place “quickly”, a day earlier than an important Home of Commons vote on the prime minister’s withdrawal settlement.
A 3-page letter of reassurance — cosigned by Jean-Claude Juncker, European Fee president, and Donald Tusk, EU Council chief — repeats earlier vows from Brussels on the backstop plan for conserving the UK tied to EU customs guidelines solely till a UK-EU free commerce deal is concluded.
The letter got here as Mrs Could warned Eurosceptic MPs that rejecting her deliberate Brexit deal risked “paralysis” in parliament and “no Brexit”. Mrs Could stated she believed parliament blocking Brexit was now a extra probably end result than the UK leaving with no deal.
“It’s now my judgment that a extra probably end result is a paralysis in parliament that dangers no Brexit,” she stated on a go to to Stoke-on-Trent, a closely Depart-voting Midlands metropolis. “There are some in Westminster who would want to delay and even cease Brexit and who will use each system accessible to them to take action.”
Mrs Could hopes to maintain the size of the defeat on her to a margin of lower than 100 on Tuesday night, however some Conservative MPs predict Mrs Could may lose by greater than 200.
“The one deal on the desk is the one MPs will vote on tomorrow night time. You may take no deal off the desk by voting for that deal,” she stated. “If no deal is as unhealthy as you consider it’s, will probably be the peak of recklessness to do the rest.”
The professional-EU Commons indicated final week that it will block a no-deal Brexit. It voted to restrict the federal government’s tax-raising powers within the occasion of a no-deal and handed an modification requiring Mrs Could to current a Plan B inside three working days if her deal is defeated.
Within the letter to Mrs Could, Messrs Tusk and Juncker sought to counter Eurosceptic considerations over the Irish backstop.
They stated the EU “would use its greatest endeavours to barter and conclude expeditiously a subsequent settlement that might substitute the backstop, and would count on the identical of the UK, in order that the backstop would solely be in place for so long as strictly vital”.
The dedication was set out by EU leaders in a summit final month which the letter says has “a authorized worth” within the EU. Nonetheless, it repeats that the EU shouldn’t be in “a place to comply with something” that modifications the substance of a legally binding divorce deal that runs to 585 pages and lays out preparations for the Irish backstop.
Brussels additionally stated it will be prepared to increase the Article 50 negotiating course of if it will be sure that the deal could be ratified.
“Ought to the events want extra time to barter the next settlement, they might resolve to increase the transition interval, as foreseen within the withdrawal settlement. In that case, the fee is dedicated to redouble its efforts and expects the identical redoubled efforts out of your negotiators, with the purpose of concluding a subsequent settlement very quickly” the letter stated.