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Old 06-13-2019, 04:51 PM
Baron Greenback's Avatar
Baron Greenback is offline
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Scotland
Posts: 11,899
Originally Posted by SlackerInc View Post
Can someone explain the “Irish backstop”? How is that different from just staying in the EU?
The backstop - a UK proposal, accepted by the EU - is a mechanism to avoid border controls on the island of Ireland. It's important to emphasise that the backstop only comes into force if no post-Brexit agreement can be reached.

The original intended timeline was roughly this -

1) Britain votes to Leave,
2) UK and EU negotiate the terms of a Withdrawal Agreement - this defines the shape of EU/UK relations until a future agreement can be negotiated. A holding pattern that pertains from the time that the UK leaves the EU (the deadline for leaving was originally two years after Article 50 invocation) until a new agreement is signed, essentially. The backstop is part of this WA.
3) The EU countries and the UK all agree the terms of the WA and then pass it into domestic law, in whatever way each individual country sees fit (The UK has spectacularly failed to do the latter part of this, which is why things are so fucked at the moment)
4) The UK leaves the EU
5) Future relationship negotiations begin, with the WA governing the transitional period
6) Either a future relationship is agreed by a certain date, or the backstop kicks in

It's not going well.

Last edited by Baron Greenback; 06-13-2019 at 04:52 PM.