European Union ready to give United Kingdom more guarantees Irish backstop is temporary

UK Moves to Guarantee EU Migrant Rights But EU Refuses to Do Same for Brit Expats		JOHN THYS  AFP  Getty Images1 Mar 2019

UK Moves to Guarantee EU Migrant Rights But EU Refuses to Do Same for Brit Expats JOHN THYS AFP Getty Images1 Mar 2019

Sir Geoffrey, the Government's top lawyer, sunk Mrs May's first attempt to get her Brexit deal through the Commons after his legal advice said the United Kingdom could be trapped in the backstop indefinitely. There would have to be an extension that would be called "motivated" or 'technical'.

British prime minister Theresa May made an enormous number of concessions to the European Union on money, regulation, customs, and worldwide trade, among other things, in her proposed Brexit agreement with the bloc - but, unlike most of her colleagues, held that the United Kingdom should not guarantee EU migrants' rights in Britain without a similar commitment by the EU.

"But you have to ask the UK".

The bloc's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, has labelled the backstop as an "insurance" but has moved to try and ease fears by reiterating that it would not be permanent.

He added that the extension would have to be unanimously approved at a summit on March 21.

The Prime Minister has told MPs they will have a "meaningful vote" on her withdrawal plans by 12 March.

But he also insisted the controversial measure, meant to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland, will not be removed from the Withdrawal Agreement.

Speaking on the issue of the Irish backstop, Michel Barnier told Germany's Die Welt newspaper: "We know that there are misgivings in Britain that the backstop could keep Britain forever connected to the EU".

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'This is not the case. "And we are ready to give further guarantees, assurances and clarifications that the backstop should only be temporary".

European Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva, said on Thursday "the best way to protect the rights of these 4.5 million people concerned is through the withdrawal agreement".

"It's very clear that they've used the Northern Ireland protocol and backstop as a means of trying to press on the sensitive issue of Northern Ireland and with all the sensitivities around that, in order effectively to try and lock us into a range of their laws, really just to undercut our competitive market".

"I think that nobody wants to see a hard Brexit in a chaotic way, which would damage London and Brussels and Ljubljana and every country".

Fears that the backstop could keep Britain tied to European Union regulations for years after Brexit is the main point of contention for many British lawmakers, leading to May's deal being overwhelmingly rejected by parliament in January.

Mr Costa wants the European Council to give the European Commission the legal authority to make a separate deal on citizens' rights - rather than leaving it to individual member states.

'There will be a massive crisis in this nation. It would leave us continuing in this limbo period'.

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