19 Sep 2019

Just a little Brexit?

‘Alternative (customs) arrangements’ and the Withdrawal Agreement

Jacques Pelkmans

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With the five-week closure of the UK Parliament, the highly entertaining sessions of the House of Commons have been adjourned. Could this artificial breathing space provide a realistic opportunity to deliver the now infamous ‘alternative customs arrangements’, making the backstop unnecessary? And without the backstop, could the Withdrawal Agreement be ratified soon, opening at long last the way to genuine negotiations about the treaty on the future relations between the UK and the EU-27?

This Policy Insight examines the implications of current options for the Irish border and assesses the recent proposal by Jonathan Faull et al. in light of considerations of ‘mutual trust’ and compatibility with EU law.