EU Withdrawal Agreement: Northern Ireland

Part of Attorney General – in the House of Commons on 7th March 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn Chair, Committee on Exiting the European Union

Article 175 of the withdrawal agreement which, as the Attorney General knows, deals with resolving disputes about the interpretation of the agreement, states that rulings of the arbitration panel shall be binding on the EU and the UK. In his letter to the Prime Minister of 13 November, the Attorney General stated that although the withdrawal agreement does not

“expressly state” that the backstop review mechanism

“is intended to be arbitrable…I consider that the better view is that it is.”

In his recent discussions with the EU, has it confirmed that it shares that better view—in which case, why would one need to consider another separate arbitration mechanism for dealing with the backstop? Or has the EU said that it does not regard binding arbitration as applying to the backstop itself?