EU Exit Negotiations

Part of Government Overseas Aid Commitment: Private Investment – in the House of Commons at 5:14 pm on 9th October 2018.

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Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn Chair, Committee on Exiting the European Union 5:14 pm, 9th October 2018

The more no deal technical notices that the Secretary of State published over the summer, the more he confirmed as correct the judgment of the Select Committee that a no deal Brexit would be chaotic and damaging. My question, however, relates to the outstanding issue in the negotiations, namely agreeing a legally operable and sound backstop to keep an open border in Northern Ireland. Given that the backstop, if it is used, will have to last until such time as another agreement is reached that achieves the same outcome, can he please explain to the House how on earth a backstop could be limited by an artificial time limit?