As the Brexit deal continues to drag on, the Irish backstop remains as one of the important reasons stalling EU and UK negotiators from arriving at a Brexit deal. Still the news currently floating around is that the European Union is planning to put forward a plan that will allow Northern Ireland to exit the Irish Backstop deal after a specific period of time.
What exactly is the Irish Backstop?
Basically, the Irish backstop was conceptualised as a form of safety net that would deter any attempt to reintroduce a hard border between the UK’s Northern Ireland section and the Republic of Ireland. The need to do so stems from worries that if a physical border will be in place to mark the divide, it will rekindle conflicts regarding the cultural, social and religious differences between the two regions.
The Backstop therefore serves as an invisible marker that will come into recognition once a Brexit deal is finalised; but before a complete and comprehensive set of guidelines has been worked out by the UK government and the EU body. During that period, Northern Ireland will remain under the single market trade agreement covering EU economic zones.
That would also mean that goods passing through the Irish Backstop will not require custom checks for tariffs, product standards, quotas, custom processes, products of origins and such other applicable EU or UK trade policies. The backstop will pose as a common territory; the purpose of which is to minimise, if not avoid the occurrence of economic disruptions. However, under such conditions, the UK will still adhere to EU trade rules, albeit touted as temporary.
Not all members of the UK parliament are amenable to the backstop agreement though. That is why Theresa May’s early negotiations have been rejected by majority of the members of the British parliament. After all, the duration with which the temporary agreement will last is still not clear, leaving UK still without total control over goods that will be passing the Northern Irish border.
As a way of settling matters, incumbent Prime Minister Boris Johnson appears to be pushing for a No-Brexit Deal, calling the backstop issue ‘dead.”
Deal or no deal, Brexit is supposed to change everything as far as economic trade is concerned. The Northern Ireland sector will have to recognise the UK government’s set of trade rules and regulations, while the Republic of Ireland will remain part of the EU economic zone.
As a concession, the European Union is said to be contemplating an offer that will allow the Northern Irish government to leave the so-called Irish backstop after a specific number of years,