Withdrawal Agreement: Legal Position

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:49 pm on 3rd December 2018.

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Photo of Crispin Blunt Crispin Blunt Conservative, Reigate 4:49 pm, 3rd December 2018

I doubt it, Mr Speaker.

The Attorney General has made it clear that the provisions about the backstop are to address having no hard border and that there would have been no agreement without these backstop provisions being in the agreement. When we are making our political judgment about the potential permanence of or the reasons behind the backstop, what credence should we give to the fact that, although WTO terms suggest there would be a hard border, there is the potential for a waiver under WTO article 9.3 and there is the potential for a national security waiver under article 21? Given that the EU and the Republic have both said they would not put up a hard border, what conclusion are we to come to about their good faith and best endeavours?