Leaving the European Union - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:16 pm on 21st January 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal 7:16 pm, 21st January 2019

Clearly, the exchange of letters between the Government and the EU last week did not provide the assurances that we hoped for but I reinforce the point that those letters have legal force, as a matter of international law. The letters must be considered when interpreting the agreement, including during arbitration. We are determined to deliver on our commitment to the people of Northern Ireland that there will be no hard border, but there needs to be a mechanism in place to deliver that. It was clear from last week’s debate and vote that concerns remain about what assurances the Prime Minister has managed to achieve so far. That is why a key part of the conversations that will be had over the coming week will be to focus on what reassurance Members across the House need to support a deal that can ensure a strong relationship with the EU.