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October EU Council

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:51 pm on 22nd October 2018.

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Photo of Theresa May Theresa May The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party 4:51 pm, 22nd October 2018

The purpose of the backstop is to cover the circumstances in which the future relationship cannot be put in place by 1 January 2021. One example might be if it has not been fully ratified by all the Parliaments in the EU that need to ratify it—the process is going through but has not been completed by the end of December 2020. That is why the backstop is in the withdrawal agreement. It is an insurance policy for that period.