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BREXIT - Northern Ireland Border and EU Backstop Explained

12/10/18
from BBC,
12/10/18:

There has been "breathtaking ignorance" from "those who believe themselves to be unionists" who oppose the Northern Ireland backstop in the Brexit deal, Sir John Major has said. The former prime minister made the remark as Tuesday's vote in the Commons was called off.

Why is Northern Ireland important in all of this? Both the EU and UK have committed to ensuring the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland remains as frictionless after Brexit as it is now. The government's deal contains the Northern Ireland protocol: the insurance policy to avoid the return of a hard border if a solution cannot be reached through a wider trade deal.

The Irish border Brexit backstop

What happens now?

A summit of EU leaders is still due to take place on Thursday, but the EU Council President Donald Tusk has said Brussels will not renegotiate the deal, including the backstop. Mrs May has refused to say when the Commons vote on her deal would now be held - saying it would depend how long fresh talks with the EU last. Some MPs called for it to come back to the Commons before Christmas, but Mrs May would only say the final deadline for the vote was 21 January.

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