Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 21st November 2018.

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Photo of Theresa May Theresa May The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party 12:00 am, 21st November 2018

No, the right hon. Gentleman is wrong on that. Let us just remind ourselves what we are talking about: we are talking about the guarantee to the people of Northern Ireland that there will be no hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland. First of all, that is best ensured by getting the future relationship in place by the end of December 2020. In the event that that was not the case for a temporary period and an interim arrangement was in place, the choice the right hon. Gentleman set out is not the choice that would be before us. Yes, there will be the backstop in the protocol and, yes, there will be the extension of the implementation period, but what we have also negotiated in the withdrawal agreement is that alternative arrangements could be in place; the key is that they guarantee no hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.