EU Exit Negotiations

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:42 am on 15th November 2018.

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Photo of Theresa May Theresa May The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party 10:42 am, 15th November 2018

Indeed, and that is the point of the “best endeavours” and “good faith” references in the document.

May I just say that this is the first opportunity that I have had in this Chamber to say a heartfelt thank you to my hon. Friend for the work that he did for the commemorations of the armistice and the centenary of the first world war? He can be truly proud of all the events that took place.

My hon. Friend referenced the issue of alternative arrangements for the border in Northern Ireland. One change that has been made recently in relation to the backstop issue, which we got into the protocol in the joint statement, is precisely the ability to look at alternative arrangements rather than just at the binary choice of the future relationship coming into place or the backstop coming into place. We have, of course, got the extension of the implementation period as an option, but what is also important is that, if the future framework is not in place, it is possible to have alternative arrangements for the border that satisfy the requirement and the desire that we all have to ensure that there is no hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.