Daily Mail

What his ad­vice says ... and what it means

- By Ian Drury Home Af­fairs Edi­tor Brexit · European Politics · UK News · Politics · British Politics · United Kingdom · European Union · Ireland · Northern Ireland · European Court of Justice · Theresa May

Ir­ish bor­der back­stop

WHAT IT SAYS: ‘If the Pro­to­col starts to ap­ply af­ter the end of the im­ple­men­ta­tion pe­riod, then it will con­tinue to do so un­less and un­til its pro­vi­sions are su­per­seded by a sub­se­quent agree­ment be­tween the UK and the EU es­tab­lish­ing al­ter­na­tive ar­range­ments.’

WHAT IT MEANS: The ‘back­stop’ en­sures there is no hard bor­der be­tween Ire­land and North­ern Ire­land if fu­ture trade talks fail. The whole of the UK would en­ter into a cus­toms union with the EU. Min­is­ters in­sist it will be tem­po­rary, but the ad­vice makes clear it is in­def­i­nite – rais­ing fears Bri­tain could be locked into it per­ma­nently. Exit from the back­stop

WHAT IT SAYS: ‘The Agree­ment does not con­tain any pro­vi­sion on its ter­mi­na­tion. In the ab­sence of such a pro­vi­sion, it is not pos­si­ble un­der in­ter­na­tional law for a party to with­draw from the Agree­ment uni­lat­er­ally.’

WHAT IT MEANS: ‘The UK can­not uni­lat­er­ally exit the back­stop as the EU has a veto – prompt­ing con­cerns the di­vorce is a ‘trap’. If it comes into force it can only be ex­ited if there is a deal or ‘clear’ proof the EU is de­lib­er­ately avoid­ing fi­nal­is­ing a trade agree­ment. Any prime min­is­ter tear­ing it up would break the law. If the EU at­tempts to pre­vent a UK with­drawal, the Euro­pean Court of Jus­tice would ar­bi­trate. Rule-tak­ing WHAT IT SAYS: ‘The UK will have ex­ited the EU... which means... no longer par­tic­i­pat­ing in the de­ci­sion-mak­ing of the EU’s in­sti­tu­tions.’

WHAT IT MEANS: For the du­ra­tion of the tran­si­tion pe­riod, the UK will have no in­put on EU rules but must obey them. Brex­i­teers fear Brus­sels will con­spire to pass laws that hob­ble the UK econ­omy, such as tar­get­ing the UK’s world-lead­ing fi­nan­cial ser­vices. Money Bri­tain owes

WHAT IT SAYS: ‘Dur­ing any ex­tended im­ple­men­ta­tion pe­riod, the UK would not be within EU budget ar­range­ments. So the joint com­mit­tee would de­cide on an ap­pro­pri­ate fi­nan­cial con­tri­bu­tion.’

WHAT IT MEANS: Theresa May has al­ready an­gered crit­ics by agree­ing to pay £39bil­lion be­fore se­cur­ing guar­an­tees on fu­ture trade. But if the tran­si­tion pe­riod runs be­yond De­cem­ber 2020, the UK will have to write another cheque to the EU. Trade deals

WHAT IT SAYS: ‘The UK [must] align its tar­iffs with the EU’s Com­mon Cus­toms Tar­iff. If for any rea­son that is not pos­si­ble... the UK may not charge lower tar­iffs than the EU.’ WHAT IT MEANS: While the UK re­mains in the sin­gle mar­ket and cus­toms union, the deal will scup­per any prospect of ma­jor trade deals around the world be­cause it will keep us tied to EU, tar­iffs, rules and reg­u­la­tions. Hard­line Brex­i­teers say this means we will not be able to open up mar­kets in other coun­tries. But Mrs May in­sists the UK will be able to be­gin ne­go­ti­at­ing deals with non-EU na­tions to come into ef­fect when Bri­tain fi­nally leaves the EU’s or­bit.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK