Q&A: Has there been any new progress on Brexit?

Belfast Telegraph - - NEWS -

This was hyped as the week we would fi­nally see the UK’s With­drawal Agree­ment. What hap­pened?

Theresa May pulled back from brief­ing her cab­i­net on the full plan be­cause she is still un­sure it will ap­prove. She needs min­is­ters to back it or the coun­try could be head­ing for a ‘no deal’ sce­nario and pos­si­bly a gen­eral elec­tion.

Had they reached a com­pro­mise on the Ir­ish Bor­der ques­tion? THE EU and chief ne­go­tia­tor Michel Barnier (be­low) has con­ceded to the idea of a UK-wide cus­toms ar­range­ment rather than one that ap­plies ex­clu­sively to North­ern Ire­land. How­ever, the Ir­ish Gov­ern­ment in­sists a ‘back­stop’ for North­ern Ire­land must also be agreed in case the UK leaves the cus­toms ar­range­ment at some stage. Mrs May ad­mit­ted this could see North­ern Ire­land op­er­ate un­der dif­fer­ent reg­u­la­tory rules. DUP leader Ar­lene Fos­ter has been con­sis­tent in say­ing any deal to main­tain fric­tion­less trade be­tween North­ern Ire­land and the Repub­lic can­not lead to checks on the Ir­ish Sea.

Can Theresa May just ig­nore the DUP?

(be­low) Will a ‘re­view mech­a­nism’ help Theresa May get this over the line?

The PM rang Leo Varad­kar to ask if he would be open to in­clud­ing an exit clause in the ‘back­stop’.

He agreed to look at the idea — but made it clear the back­stop must be in place “un­less and un­til” a bet­ter ar­range­ment is de­vised.

Any deal will have to be passed in the UK Par­lia­ment, which means the PM needs to count her num­bers care­fully. Ide­ally, she needs the DUP’s 10 MPs on board.

But the DUP made it clear a year ago that it wouldn’t tol­er­ate any reg­u­la­tory di­ver­gence from the rest of the UK?

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.