European Council - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:20 pm on 11th April 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 3:20 pm, 11th April 2019

We have consistently sought to change the withdrawal agreement and make changes to the backstop. The Prime Minister, following the passing of the Brady amendment, sought further changes and, as result of those conversations, on 11 March, a package was agreed which was put into a joint interpretive instrument and supplement to the political declaration. This was formally approved by the European Council on 22 March, so the Prime Minister did indeed, following that vote in the House of Commons, achieve changes to the backstop. Of course, we have also agreed with the EU to consider a joint work stream to develop alternative arrangements, which was one of the elements of the Malthouse compromise that my noble friend talked about, to ensure the absence of a hard border in Northern Ireland. So we have indeed been working to achieve the things that the House of Commons requested in the Brady amendment.