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Brexit Withdrawal Agreement: Jonathan Djanogly questions PM on backstop or extending the implementation period

26th November 2018

Jonathan Djanogly welcomes the Prime Minister’s withdrawal agreement as a fair and reasonable deal for Brexit and he asks the PM what will influence the decision to be made next year on implementing the backstop or extending the implementation period.

Mr Jonathan Djanogly (Huntingdon) (Con)
I congratulate the Prime Minister on securing what I believe is a fair and reasonable deal. There will come a time—some time before July next year, and possibly well before then—when she will have to take a view on whether we head towards a possible backstop or extending the implementation period. I should be interested to hear what considerations she thinks might arise as to which route she takes at that time.

The Prime Minister
My hon. Friend is absolutely right. July 2020 is set in the withdrawal agreement as the date by which a decision will be taken, and there will be a number of issues to be taken into account at that stage. The first will be the key question of whether the future relationship would not be in place by the end of December 2020, and whether the extended period would therefore be necessary for either the backstop or the implementation period, or alternative arrangements. A balanced judgment would be made. In the implementation period, there would be an expectation of a financial obligation; there would not be a financial obligation were we in the backstop. We would not have free movement were we in the backstop; free movement would almost certainly be required to continue in the event of an extended implementation period. Those are the sorts of issues that would need to be balanced at that time.



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