In April 2019, a report commissioned by the Greens concluded that the backstop could allow the UK to undermine eu environmental, consumer and labour standards, as it lacks sufficiently detailed controls. [54] Under the backstop, the whole of the UK would enter a ”single customs territory” with the EU. There are many parties to this, but essentially there would be no tariffs on trade in goods between the UK and the EU and some (but not all) trade restrictions would be lifted. Negotiations between officials resulted in a draft agreement to be reached at a meeting between Jean-Claude Juncker and Theresa May in Brussels on 4 December 2017. Progress was made on financial settlement and civil rights, but the meeting was cancelled after the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland opposed the Irish border agreements. [23] What is the overview behind the Brexit ”backstop” drama? Following the DUP`s objections, Mrs May agreed to a backstop in which the whole of the UK maintains a very close relationship with the EU indefinitely – remaining in the customs union. In July 2019, Theresa May resigned and Boris Johnson became prime minister, with Boris Johnson saying he wanted to replace the Irish backstop as part of the withdrawal agreement. [76] On August 19, in a letter to the President of the European Council, the Prime Minister described the agreement as ”undemocratic and incompatible with the sovereignty of the United Kingdom.” [77] He stressed that it was ”incompatible with the final objective desired by the United Kingdom” for its relations with the EU. Its third reason why the backstop is not enforceable is that it could ”weaken” the Good Friday Agreement and the peace process in Northern Ireland. Tusk replied that those who opposed the arrangement without ”realistic alternatives” supported the re-establishment of a hard border on the island of Ireland.

That`s the reality, ”even if they don`t admit it,” he added. ”The backstop is an insurance policy to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland unless an alternative is found,” Tusk tweeted. [78] Irish government sources have held that ”the real purpose of the backstop is to maintain the status quo by guaranteeing freedom of movement and not a hard border on the island of Ireland; which is of paramount importance to the GFA. The reality is that Brexit itself poses a threat to the GFA. [79] Barnier told French RADIO STATION RTL: ”Time is too short to find an alternative to the Irish backstop, and Britain`s divorce deal with the European Union will not be reopened to negotiations. [66] Johnson rejected the Irish backstop and negotiated an agreement to create a maritime border in the Irish Sea, which his predecessor had declared that ”no British Prime Minister” could accept. .