Leaving the EU

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:47 pm on 12th February 2019.

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Photo of Theresa May Theresa May The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party 12:47 pm, 12th February 2019

Nobody wants to use the backstop. The reason the backstop is there is that it is the guarantee that there will be no hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland in the circumstances in which the future relationship has not come into place at the end of the implementation period. There is an alternative available within the withdrawal agreement, which is a further extension of the implementation period. There are pros and cons in both of those positions. Of course we want to see change to the backstop, but there are issues around the fact that in the implementation period there would almost certainly be a request for money, which does not occur in relation to the backstop. It is there as a guarantee. It is like an insurance policy: you take it out, but you never want to have to use it.