1. Exquisite Tweets from @hayward_katy

    PreoccupationsCollected by Preoccupations

    PM Johnson has made the removal of the #backstop the make-or-break matter when it comes to an exit deal with the EU.

    So this thing is pretty damn important.

    Time for a quick recap of what the 'loathed and detested' backstop actually is?

    1/14

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    hayward_katy

    Katy Hayward

    The #backstop is there specifically to meet the UK’s commitments to avoid a hard Irish border & protect the 1998 Good Friday (Belfast) Agreement & peace process.

    This isn’t just of benefit or interest to the island of Ireland.
    A broken Northern Ireland means a limping UK.
    2/14

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    hayward_katy

    Katy Hayward

    How does the #backstop work?
    A v.brief explanation:

    Having to apply & enforce customs procedures & rules around market access makes a border ‘hard’.
    (just talking trade here)

    Put simply, the greater the hassle in getting goods across a border, the harder that border is.

    3/14

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    hayward_katy

    Katy Hayward

    The #backstop makes it possible to avoid a hard @BorderIrish by creating a situation in which moving goods across the Irish border is unencumbered by customs procedures or by need to prove adherence to market rules.

    There are 2 dimensions to this: NI-specific & UK-wide.

    4/14

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    hayward_katy

    Katy Hayward

    First, NI would remain in the VAT & excise regime of the EU so as to make VAT payments relating to cross-border trade as smooth as possible + to minimise risk (& lucrative potential) of smuggling.
    It does not mean NI pays different tax rates nor that Brussels sets its rates.
    5/14

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    hayward_katy

    Katy Hayward

    2nd: NI wd be effectively in part of the Single Market for goods, specifically those the EU is worried about for health & safety reasons (e.g. meat quality, exhaust emissions, toy standards).
    ie: NI will continue to maintain the same standards it does now on these products.
    6/14

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    hayward_katy

    Katy Hayward

    If EU standards change on this specific set of products, it will be expected NI will at min. voluntarily align.
    UK govt promised NI it too will align but not yet in law.
    We don't know what'll happen if neither of these things occur.
    NB: this is re: consumer confidence/safety
    7/14

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    hayward_katy

    Katy Hayward

    Finally, UK wd be in the customs territory of the EU.
    This was at the request of the UK govt.
    It means there wouldn’t need to be customs procedures on goods going from NI into either GB or EU.
    It will also relieve a great deal of hassle for UK trade into EU more broadly.
    8/14

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    hayward_katy

    Katy Hayward

    But there are downsides to this when it comes to UK’s ability to make its own trade deals around goods.
    Hence the WA provision #backstop could be stepped down one part at a time.
    Bear in mind: UK’s future relationship with EU still to be decided. UK could go for this anyway.
    9/14

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    hayward_katy

    Katy Hayward

    🚨NEWSFLASH! 🚨
    The EU isn't more fond of the #backstop than the UK is.

    It is a compromise to manage a uniquely complicated situation. It is awkward & inconvenient for both sides.

    Hence, right from exit day, there will be a negotiating track focused on avoiding its use.
    10/14

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    hayward_katy

    Katy Hayward

    🚨ALSO NOTE
    *#Backstop is not the future EU-UK relationship!*
    It'll only come into force at end of transition period, currently set to be 1 Jan 2023 at latest but it cd be extended.
    Even then it might be that just part of it will be in play.
    It'll be under constant review.
    11/14

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    hayward_katy

    Katy Hayward

    To conclude: 3 quick fact checks. 🔎

    The #backstop does *not* see the UK continue on in the EU's single market.

    Even if, post-2023, it is in play, there will be an end to freedom of movement of goods, people, capital & services between the UK & EU. #Brexit

    12/14

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    hayward_katy

    Katy Hayward

    The #backstop does not see the UK (or NI) blindly following EU rules with no say.

    The #WithdrawalAgreement contains bodies & mechanisms for the UK & EU to come to agreement about the implementation of the backstop (among other things).

    We lose these if there is #NoDeal.

    13/14

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    hayward_katy

    Katy Hayward

    The backstop would mean increased checks on specified goods coming from GB into NI. This is largely a stepping-up of checks that already happen.

    **Worth noting that this is exactly what UK govt foresees happening in the event of a #NoDeal**

    So there you have it. #backstop
    14/14

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    hayward_katy

    Katy Hayward